Students from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) hit the Aquino government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for killing a 15-year old Lumad student of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
According to the Save Our Schools Network, Grade 3 student Alibando Tingkas was on his way home with two other students when a member of the paramilitary group Alamara intercepted them at Sitio Laslaskan and fired two gun shots. The other two students were able to escape but Tingkas was shot dead.
Members of LFS gathered on Monday afternoon in the University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila campuses to lit candles as a symbolic protest demanding immediate justice. A similar protest was also held in Davao City.
“This is beyond despicable. In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Aquino government for the worsening human rights crisis in Mindanao. Through the AFP and its paramilitary groups, the regime continues to spread havoc and fear,” said LFS National Chairperson Charisse Bañez.
Bañez noted that Alamara is one of the paramilitary groups organized and funded by the AFP and the Aquino government. The youth leader noted that these paramilitary groups work hand-in-hand with the AFP in occupying Lumad alternative schools and communities. She added that they are responsible for the killings, human rights violations, and forced evacuation in Mindanao.
“Under the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP and its paramilitary groups continue to disrupt the lives of the people of Mindanao. They militarized the ancestral domains of the Lumad in order to pave the way for multinational companies of mining, plantation, and logging,” said Bañez.
Bañez insisted that the need to pull out the AFP troops in Mindanao and disband the paramilitary groups.
“Our kababayan in Mindanao have been suffering from the attacks of the military and paramilitary forces of the regime for years. These attacks need to stop,” argued Bañez.
She noted that while the killer of Tingkas must be immediately detained, Aquino, and the commanders of the AFP must be held accountable. Bañez said that they should not be allowed to go scot-free.
“We express our condolences to the family and friends of Alibando. We grieve for him. While we lament his death, we are more determined to put an end to the crimes committed by the Aquino government to the Filipino people,” said Bañez.
Bañez noted that LFS will be having protest actions in the days to come to press for the accountability of Aquino, the immediate pull out of AFP troops, and disbanding of paramilitary groups in Mindanao. ###
Charisse Banez, LFS National Chairperson, 0919 617 8979
Aries Gupit, LFS National Secretary-General, 0947 883 8394