More than 100 Lumads were arrested in various parts of Northern Mindanao in the course of three months of combat operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The worst among these is the arrest of 100 peasants and Lumads in Sitio Balaas and Airburn in Barangay Mabuhay; and Nabangkal in Barangay Magkalungay, San Fernando, Bukidnon. They have been accused of being members of the people’s army and detained in the 88th IB headquarters in Maramag.
In Malaybalay City, more than 700 residents of Sitio Sta. Rita and San Roque in Barangay Sinanglanan, fled their community last May 14 due to intense military operations in their community. They brought with them their animals and sought shelter in the neighboring Sitio Malapgap.
No less than 645 troops of the 8th, 88th, 60th and 56th IB have mounted focused military operations in Malaybalay City, San Fernando and Cabanglasan.
In Agusan del Norte, two pregnant women identified as “Apay” and Wena” were arrested by elements of 23rd IB last May 16 in in Sitio Cabalalahan, Guinabsan, Buenavista. The victims are currently held in the 23rd IB’s headquarters in the same town. It is not yet clear what charges they are facing.
Soldiers torch houses, school
Lumad homes and a community elementary school were set on fire last March 16 by military elements in Barangay San Vicente, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. The arson was committed after a military misencounter resulted in five casualties among the soldiers. A day before, residents fled the said community because of intense operations and military oppression. Six Lumads were arrested for interrogation.