Rights group members face raps for attack on 3 Army troopers
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Three Army troopers have filed charges against members of human rights group Karapatan who allegedly beat them up and robbed them in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

Eliza Panganiban, Karapatan provincial secretary general, was among the respondents in the serious physical injury and robbery charges filed by Sgt. Lomer Ramoso, Pfc. Gregorio Cabason and Pvt. Raymund Siluterio.

The charges were filed with the provincial prosecutor’s office on Friday.

Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, said the troopers had to be treated in a hospital due to injuries they got on Sept. 13.

“The soldiers had just finished their lunch in a restaurant in Lianga when they were assaulted by Karapatan members led by Panganiban,” Martinez said.

 He said the suspects mistook the soldiers for members of the Magahat or Bagani paramilitary group, which has been linked to the killing of three lumad leaders in Barangay Diatagon, also in Lianga.

Karapatan has been accusing the military of perpetrating the killings, which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denied.

The AFP said the killings were triggered by a tribal war among lumads in the province.

“Members of the group came charging toward the three and beat them badly. Others took the soldiers’ cell phones, wallets, watches and necklaces,” Martinez said.

He said the local police responded and took the soldiers to a hospital for treatment.  – With Ben Serrano

ACIRC ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BARANGAY DIATAGON ELIZA PANGANIBAN GREGORIO CABASON AND PVT INFANTRY DIVISION JOE PATRICK MARTINEZ KARAPATAN LIANGA LOMER RAMOSO RAYMUND SILUTERIO
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