On the National Humanitarian Mission in Talaingod, Davao del Norte
Karapatan demands the immediate release of members of the National Humanitarian Mission and the Lumad students and teachers who were fleeing from military operations in Talaingod, Davao del Norte from custody at the Talaingod Police Station.
Last night, November 28, 2018, at 9:30pm, at least 79 individuals, including 29 students and 12 teachers of Lumad schools in Davao del Norte, former Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT Partylist Rep. France Castro are being held by the Philippine National Police, 56th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army and the Municipal Social Work and Development Office at the Talaingod Police Station in Davao del Norte. Ocampo and Castro are among the delegates to the National Humanitarian Mission to Talaingod where they aided Lumad students and teachers amid the forcible closure of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning School in Sitio Nasilaban, Brgy. Palma Gil.
We also received preposterous reports that Ocampo and Castro are being threatened with fabricated charges of human trafficking, when they and other mission delegates were there to provide support and aid to Lumad residents, including children, who are facing daily threats and harassment from the military in the community. Many parents of the Lumad students have previously evacuated from the said community and are awaiting their children.
This regime’s seeming endless arsenal of dirty tricks which includes military occupation of communities and schools, killings, threats and harassment of residents, including children, and rights defenders is spiteful and condemnable. Ocampo, Castro and all 79 individuals should be immediately released from police custody. We are dissuading the authorities in filing fabricated charges against Ocampo and Castro lest they lose face in court and be condemned for yet another form of judicial harassment. We demand that the military pull out from Talaingod and other communities, as their occupation of and operations in these areas further engender worse rights violations and unpeace.
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.