IP parents stressed need for gov't help in fight for justice

During a press conference in Tagum City, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Usec Lorraine Badoy cuddles a baby as the mother recounts her ordeal in rescuing one of her children from the hands of the CPP-NPA. In the guise of providing them education, the CPP-NPA were able to recruit several children in the community.

DAVAO DEL NORTE (PIA) – Datu Butigon Mandacawan, the only male parent joined ten others who left Talaingod to meet national government officials Tuesday afternoon at the Government Center of the Province of Davao del Norte.

Datu Mandacawan shared in a media briefing that he lost his wife who suffered from stress worrying and waiting for their children, Analiza and Larry who they thought would go home and see them after a month.

The IP parent narrated how they entrusted their children to a group  who promised them education for their kids. Months passed, they lost contact of their children which led to the condition experienced by his wife.

That led to the death of Butigon’s wife, months before finally reunited with Analiza and Larry.

“Nagdahum mi nga naa lang ang among mga anak sa Dabaw ug nagaskwela apan natingala mi nga gibitbit na sila sa Cebu nga wala mi gipahibalo ( We thought our children are just in Davao City and are just studying but we were surprised to know that they were brought to Cebu City without even asking us their parents.),” Mandacawan narrated in his native dialect.

Maymay Anlomon, mother of Lenlen, joined the group of IP parents and brought along her month-old baby while expressing herself in the media briefing.

“Mahirap talaga ang inosente, ignorante. Kahit ang pagbaba dito sa bayan ay napakahirap para sa amin. Pero nagpapasalamat kami sa gobyerno at tinutulungan niyo kami at pinapakinggan sa aming mga hinaing. ( It is really hard for us innocent and ignorant. Event in coming here is so difficult for us but we thank the government for helping us and listening to our needs),” Anlomon said in her native dialect.

Mandacawan and Anlomon along with the other Ata Manobo parents expressed themselves months after reunited with their children who were rescued in Cebu City and brought back to Talaingod.

The parents learned that the case filed at the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao del Norte against seven respondents of so called “ Bakwit School 7” was dismissed on May 5 for “lack of probable cause, and lack of territorial jurisdiction.”

The National Task Force ELCAC (Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) immediately assured the parents on the continued support of the NTF in fighting for the rights of the IP parents.

“ These are the findings that we do not agree with, and we will look for our remedies, either to filee motion of reconsideration or to refile the case,” said Atty Marlon Bosantog, spokesperson of the NTF ELCAC Legal Cooperations Cluster.

NTF ELCAC spokesperson of the Strategic Communication Cluster Usec Lorraine Badoy told the CPP-NPA-NDF not to celebrate as the government is ready in winning this case against Bakwit School 7 for the unlawful acts of kidnapping, serious illegal detention, human trafficking and child abuse of members of indigenous communities.

Usec Badoy further claimed that the decision of the Provincial Prosecutor of Davao del Norte is actually helping the government improve the case inorder to win it in time. (PIA XI/Frances Mae Macapagat)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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