Probe team to bring lumad issue before UNCHR
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - October 31, 2015 - 10:00am

TANDAG CITY, Philippines – A team investigating the killing of two lumad leaders and a school administrator in Lianga, Surigao del Sur has vowed to bring the issue before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in a bid to attain justice.

In a press briefing on Saturday, the International Fact-Finding Mission (IFFM) presented to journalists its initial findings on the murder of lumad leaders Dionel Campos, his cousin Aurelio Sinzo, and Emerito Samarca, administrator of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood (Alcadev), by members of paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani Forces.

The IFFM, which is composed of members and officers of local and international non-government organizations, said they have yet to see the results of the investigations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate on the lumad issue.

The group said the violation of the rights of the lumads continued. It said they invited concerned government agencies, including the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to join them in the fact-finding missions from Oct. 26 to 30, but no one attended.

Based on their findings, the IFFM said the continued presence of armed groups in Sitio Han-ayan in Barangay Diatagon and in other tribal villages violates the rights of more than 3,000 lumad evacuees.

The team said they visited Sitio Han-ayan and other villages and saw the classrooms and offices of the Alcadev vandalized and destroyed.

“Since we see no justice as no suspect had been arrested, we have no recourse but to bring these issues before various international human rights and law groups,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate who was among the IFFM members and officers present in the conference.

AGRICULTURAL AND LIVELIHOOD ALCADEV ALTERNATIVE LEARNING CENTER ARMED FORCES AURELIO SINZO BARANGAY DIATAGON BAYAN MUNA REP CARLOS ZARATE DIONEL CAMPOS EMERITO SAMARCA SITIO HAN
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