Cordillera cop chief sues IP group leader for cyber libel over anti-Chico Dam marker

Artemio Dumlao - Philstar.com
Cordillera cop chief sues IP group leader for cyber libel over anti-Chico Dam marker
This November 11, 2020 photo shows the Anti-Chico Dams Struggle Heroes Monument in Tinglayan, Kalinga.
Cordillera Peoples' Alliance Facebook page

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Police Brig. Gen. RWin Pagkalinawan, Cordillera regional police chief, is suing an official of an indigenous peoples' group for cyber libel for blaming him over the dismantling of a memorial to Kalinga leader Macli-ing Dulag.

Pagkalinawan claimed Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) secretary general Sarah “Bestang” Dekdeken blamed him for the demolition of the Dulag memorial during a press conference that the group streamed on its Facebook page on January 14, 2021.

"Such statements made by Dekdeken,” claimed the Cordillera police chief, "is degrading and destroying (my) moral reputation as the head of the Cordillera police and as a public servant."

The Cordillera police chief stressed that the demolition of the Dulag memorial marker last month was based "on a Kalinga provincial resolution to remove the structure since it is being used by the CPA to recruit minors into communism while portraying Macli-ing Dulag as a member of the [New People's Army]."

Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan, whom the marker commemorates fought the World Bank-funded Chico Dam project construction  wayback in the 1970s.

According to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, "[Dulag] was murdered by government soldiers on April 24, 1980. They surrounded his house one night and sprayed it with bullets. His assassination merely solidified opposition to the dam and won it sympathizers from all over the country and even abroad." 

Pagkalinawan cited a DPWH right-of-way memorandum declaring the memorial "violative of the national road-right-of-way." According to the Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office, the marker is located 4.10 meters from the road and is within the right of way.

He added that he "never ordered any policeman to remove the structure." 



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