The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemned the relentless killings by the Aquino regime of children in pursuit of its antinational and antipeople US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization.
The latest incident was the massacre of the family of Daguil Capion on October 18 in Barangay Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur (not South Cotabato, was was earlier reported in AB). Daguil Capion’s pregnant wife Juvi was killed along with two of their children — Jorge (“Pap”), 13, and Jan-Jan, 7. Another daughter, Becky, 5, was wounded.
The entire incident was witnessed by the Capions’ 11-year old daughter Ressa.
The massacre occurred when 13 soldiers led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez rained bullets on the hut where Juvi and her children were sleeping on the morning of October 18. The unit is under the 27th IB led by Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo.
Witnesses said Juvi was still alive after the first volley of fire. She begged the military to spare her children. But when the soldiers entered the hut, they shot everyone one by one. Neighbors and relatives of the Capions who first arrived at the scene were able to hear Lieutenant Jimenez order the soldiers to finish them off. All of those slain had gunshot wounds to the head.
Daguil Capion is a leader of the B’laan tribe. He and his wife Juvi are members of Kalgad, an organization actively resisting the operations of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI). SMI is a multinational company with huge capital investments from Xstrata Plc, a Swiss company based in the United Kingdom, and Indophil Resources, an Australian company.
Days after the bloody incident, Becky and her elder sister Ressa were accosted by Josephine Malid while they were on their way to meet Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez in Marbel, South Cotabato. Malid is a member of Tribal Foundation, an SMI-supported non-government organization.
Ressa and Becky were told to ride a vehicle owned by SMI and brought to the office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Kiblawan. Their grandmother opposed the move, and the two children were transferred to the Social Action Center at the Marbel Archdiocese in South Cotabato.
Ka Coni Ledesma, who heads the NDFP Special Office for the Protection of Children said the Aquino regime and the mining companies are colluding to plunder the country’s mineral resources, destroy the environment, kill Lumad leaders and perpetrate the forced evacuation of national minority communities from their ancestral lands, victimizing adults and children alike.
Meanwhile, BAYAN-Socksargen assailed the AFP for excluding 10th ID chief Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo from court martial proceedings against those involved in the massacre.
In Bukidnon, the so-called New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR) has been formed. NIPAR is a paramilitary group under the 8th IB’s Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) headed by Alde “Butchoy” Salusad. The group is responsible for the murder of a number of Lumad leaders, the forced evacuation of communities and the hostaging on October 7 of Julia Manlus-ag, the wife of Sitoy Manlus-ag, and their four children age 9, 6, 4 and nine months.
The hostage-takers’ objective was to convince Manlus-ag and his family to return to their village and support the “good works” of the mining, logging and plantation operations of foreign and comprador companies in Bukidnon. Manlus-ag and other Lumad families have been camping in front of the Bukidnon provincial capitol for eight months now to demand justice for Jimmy Liguyon, a Lumad leader killed by Salusad in March.
Ledesma added that the Aquino regime is the biggest violator of children’s rights. It is likewise responsible for the unabated killing of children in the course of violating the social, economic and cultural rights of minority peoples.