When Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stepped down in 2010 after being President of the Philippines for nine years, she left behind a bloody trail of Lumad killings. Human rights organization Karapatan documented a total of 89 cases of extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples during the Arroyo administration, and many of these were Lumad.
Her successor, Benigno Aquino III, had a worse human rights record — 102 indigenous people were killed during his six-year term. According to a shadow report submitted to the United Nations in late 2016, 87 of the IP killings involved the Lumad.. Some of the most gruesome killings of Lumad happened during his term.
On 18 October 2012, soldiers under the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) strafed the house of B’laan anti-mining resistance leader Daguil Capion in the village of Bong Mal in Tampakan town, South Cotabato province. Capion was injured but managed to escape, but his pregnant wife Juvy, 27, and their children Pop, 13, and Janjan,8, died in the shooting incident. Soldiers also brought the remains of the dead out of the house, an act which violated the B’laan culture. Among the B’laans, it is considered taboo for non-relatives to disturb the remains of the dead.
On the afternoon of 18 August 2015, Datu Herminio Samia, 70, his children Joebert, 20, and Emir, 19, as well as his other relatives Elmer, 17, and Norman, 13, were killed by members of the 1st Special Forces Battalion in Sitio Mando, Brgy. Mendis, Pangantucan town in Bukidnon province. According to the lone survivor of the incident, the 15-year-old son of Datu Herminio, the five victims, who were members of the Manobo tribe, were shot one by one by the soldiers.. The military, on the other hand, claimed the five were all members of the New People’s Army and what transpired was a legitimate armed encounter between the military and the Communist rebels.
Paramilitary forces also went on a killing spree in the town of Lianga in Surigao del Sur province. At 4 am on 1 September 2015, members of the Magahat-Bagani Force woke up residents of Diatagon village in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and forced them to gather in the village square. There, the Magahat-Bagani shot and killed Datu Dionel Campos, 41, and Datu Jovello Sinzo, 69. Residents rushed to the house of Emerito Samarca, 54, only to find him dead, as well.
Samarca was executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), an award-winning non-government organization that ran a school for indigenous people in the area. Campos and Sinzo were tribal chieftains who had repeatedly called for the disbandment of paramilitary forces in the province.
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