Police identified the suspects as Kali Sirol, single, 41, a resident of Sanciangko Street, Barangay Pahina; Datu Elra Kidlat, jobless, a resident of Barangay Tejero; Kali Panther, 49, single, a resident of Sitio Bahaw, Barangay T. Padilla; and Datu Apo RH Cabales, widow, 40, a resident of Barangay Pahina.
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4 tribe men nabbed for “extortion”
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Dina Atip (The Freeman) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Four armed men were arrested yesterday morning for allegedly extorting money from sidewalk vendors at the Carbon Market in Barangay Ermita, Cebu city.

Police identified the suspects as Kali Sirol, single, 41, a resident of Sanciangko Street, Barangay Pahina; Datu Elra Kidlat, jobless, a resident of Barangay Tejero; Kali Panther, 49, single, a resident of Sitio Bahaw, Barangay T. Padilla;  and Datu Apo RH Cabales, widow, 40, a resident of Barangay Pahina.

They were reportedly collecting fees from the sidewalk vendors for the rent of their domain.

The responding police officers recovered from the suspects a .45 caliber pistol, three magazines, 44 live rounds of ammunition, two swords, a hunting knife, cellphones, and identification cards.

The four are members of the Kinatas-ang Kahugpungan sa mga Kadatuan (KKK-Alimaong) tribe that existed in Cebu city.

Datu Bontita Leon Kilat, chairman of the International and National KKK-Alimaong, told the media that his men were just collecting the rent of their ancestral domains, and denied they were extorting money from the vendors. He accused the police of hitting his men.

He added that, being a member of the tribe, they were allowed to carry firearms for their protection and claimed immunity from “harassment” under the treaty of the Tribal governments.

"Extortion is illegal and we knew it. The court has no jurisdiction about this, we are all brothers here. We, the IP's (Indigenous People) are the one who fought for this island, like the Japanese, if our ancestors don't have the firearms, what will happen, we have lost the fight,” he said.

“Now unsay legality sa pagdakop nila sa mga IPs? If the IPs fight for their rights, the government will consider them as bad people. Karon akong ipalihug ang obligasyon lang ninyo base sa balaod, natuman ba ninyo o wala," he added, referring to the present administration.

Police Captain Franklin L. Tale Jr., Assistant Chief of Police Station 5, has denied his men harmed the arrested tribe members.

“The allegation nga pangulata sa kanila walay kamatuoran tungod kay kabalo man nang mga miyembro sa kapolisan sa atong Human Rights law," he said.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, for his part, said he is not worried over the presence of KKK tribe members in the city.

However, the mayor said the matter should be referred to the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) which has the jurisdiction over them.

“I think they are not violent kind of people. They may have some kinds of comment, but that does not cause an alarm for us,” he told reporters.

Labella said the tribe has been long here for quite some time.

“We will refer that to the commission on indigenous people. Dugay nana nga issue. That has been there for a long, long time and it’s the national Indigenous commission which has the jurisdiction over that,” he said.

The city government will just coordinate with NCIP on the findings of the tribe members.

“I’m not worried about that. Dugay nana. Pila nana ka tuig. I’m not worried. Our peace and order officials and our law enforcement agencies are on top of everything,” the mayor added.

The four men are now facing violations of R.A. 10591 and Batas Pambansa Bilang 6.  They are now temporarily detained at Police Station 5 pending the filing of the case. — GAN (FREEMAN)

EXTORTION MONEY
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