Moros Brace for Abductions as Bomb Explodes
Anew in Davao
Abductions and other
human rights violations became more rampant with the setting up of the
Task Force Davao (TFD) in 2003. With the recent bombing, Moro communities
are now bracing for even more.
By Cheryll D.
When news broke out
last February 14 that Davao City was bombed again, Moro communities braced
for more abductions.
They demanded that
they be spared from the terror that once struck their communities. The
day after the bombing, along with progressive organizations, they took the
issue to the streets. They warned police and military authorities not to
do another round of “witch-hunting” in communities just like what they did
in 2003 in the aftermath of the twin bombings in Davao City.
On the day that then
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes announced the creation of the elite
security group Task Force Davao (TFD), Abdullah Sabdurah Ala, a Moro
resident of Padaman Islamic Community in Maa, was abducted by
bonnet-wearing men, boarding a van and carrying long rifles.
By the time the first
troops comprising TFD set up camps in Sirawan, Toril (southern border of
the city and a Muslim community), another Moro, Ustadz Alimuddin Zulkiple
was abducted while waiting for a ride in the highway of the said place at
around the same time the first abduction took place.
Barely a week after
the TFD arrived and augmented the troops, another Moro, Ladzmar Jumdail,
became the third in the series of abductions. By the end of April there
had been four victims of abductions. The fourth was Juanita Ybañez, a Moro
resident of Bankerohan. These persons have not yet surfaced.
Nine days after the
creation of TFD and a day after Malacañang issued General Order No. 3
which reminded the AFP and the PNP forces to give “due regard to the
constitutional rights of every individual in their operations to suppress
terrorristic violence” in Southern and Central Mindanao, a Muslim village
in Bangkal was raided by some 200 heavily armed military troops. They were
on board an Army six-by-six truck, two Hummer vehicles, two L300 vans and
two Simba armored fighting vehicle.
The residents said
the troopers who could not be identified since they covered their
nameplates, entered their homes and conducted searches.
There were also
lightning dawn raids. The Madaum Muslim Community in Tagum, Davao Del
Norte was attacked and one resident was nabbed and held in isolation for
three days. The victim, Yasser Sarauddin, said that he was electrocuted to
force him to own up to the bomb-making ingredients the authorities claimed
to have seized in the raid.
remained unabated. In fact, there were more than 80 cases when the TFD was
established and increased to 90 in 2004. The first one and a half months
of this year saw 50 victims of summary executions.
It may be recalled
that in 2004, TFD Commander Col. Eduardo del Rosario branded those
belonging to legitimate people's organizations, as accomplices of the
The TFD led the raid
of the house of Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador and the filing of rebellion
case against Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance)
Alvin Luque and two others. The TFD also accused Davao City Councilor
Angela Librado, of violating the constitution when she joined the anti-Balikatan
(shoulder-to-shoulder) protest held on the day US Ambassador Francis
Ricciardone came to Davao.
To these dissenters,
these bombings mean more than what they are now. They are simply, a signal
to be on guard against the likely death of human rights. Bulatlat
Mindanao Blasts a Ploy
for U.S. Armed Presence?
By CHERYLL D. FIEL
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