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  • Writer's picturePanaghiusa Philippine Network

STATEMENT | Remembering the Victims of Lianga Massacre

The Panaghiusa Philippine Network commemorates the 6th year of the gruesome Lianga massacre that killed Lumad leaders Dionel Campos, Datu Bello Sinzo, and Alcadev's Executive Director Emerito Samarca.

On this day, we mourn

On September 1, 2015, at Km. 16, Han-ayan, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur, Lumad leaders Dionel Campos, Chairperson of the Lumad Manobo and Mamanwa organization Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), Tribal Chief Datu Juvello Sinzo, and Emerito Samarca, Executive Director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) were brutally murdered by AFP-trained Magahat paramilitary. According to Karapatan-Caraga, Magahat-Bagani opened fire on Datu Campos and Datu Sinzo while residents were gathered to witness the carnage. Samaria's body was discovered tied around the neck with stab wounds in one of the schoolrooms. [1]

Despite the presence of state forces on that day, which should have prevented the killings as part of their mandate, and despite years of tireless effort to seek justice for the Lumad victims, justice has yet to be served.

The same fate

Angel Rivas, a 12-year-old Grade 6 student, and her 21-year-old elder sister Lenie Rivas, as well as her cousin Willy Rodriguez, may never have imagined they would share the same fate. The three Lumad youth were gathering abaca or manila hemp when the Philippine Army's 3rd Special Forces Battalion opened fire on them at 1:00 p.m. on June 15. Much similar to the leaders Campos, Sinzo, and Samarca, justice for them has yet to be served.

On this day and the rest, we fight

We urge the people to be relentless in pursuit of justice even as we mourn the lives of our slain Lumad brothers and sisters. Thousands of state victims have yet to receive justice. We call on the Filipino people and the rest of the world to fight for a society that respects and recognizes the rights and lives of indigenous peoples such that nothing like the Lianga massacres shall ever happen again. #

Source: [1]


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