#DefendTalaingod: Alarming HR violations in Mindanao probed

May 15, 2014

Military soldiers encamped in civilian houses in North Cotabato. Kilab Multimedia

Military soldiers encamped in civilian houses in Paquibato, Davao City. Kilab Multimedia

Alarming human rights violations (HRVs) against indigenous peoples have prompted an ongoing national solidarity and fact-finding mission (FFM) in Mindanao, focusing on the recent mass exodus of around 1,700 Manobo families from Talaingod, Davao del Sur.

In Talaingod, the 60th and 68th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army, in counter-insurgency efforts, subjected civilians to aerial bombings and strafing, prompting the evacuation of Lumads last April 3. The soldiers encamped in houses and schools, threatening, harassing, and torturing civilians. While the Lumads have returned to their communities, intense militarization remains.

Pinoy Weekly is covering the seven-day mission. The mission covers not just Talaingod, but also the militarized municipalities of Arakan (North Cotabato), Maco (Compostela Valley), and Paquibato (Davao del Norte). Follow the tweets of PW’sKenneth Guda and other alternative media on the mission:

Talaingod is located near and within the Pantaron mountain range, considered as the “Cordillera of Mindanao.” Residents say that militarization in several areas along the mountain range is aimed at facilitating the entry of mining corporations. The Lumads have resisted logging and mining operations since the early 90s.

Watch the video of Kilab Multimedia on the plight of the Manobo evacuees: