4 missing teachers found in military custody

PJ ORIAS November 29, 2018

THE Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) in Northern Mindanao said four of their teachers in Tagoloan 2, Lanao del Sur who went missing since November 12 have been “illegally detained” by the military of the 103rd Brigade based in Marawi City.

In a statement, the RMP said with the help of the Archdiocese of Iligan City, they found Tema Namatidong, 28, Julius Torregosa, 30, Ariel Barluado, 22, and Giovanni Solomon, 20, under the custody of a certain Corporal Rico Ordaneza. 

Ordaneza said the teachers are under investigation and cannot be released. He also prohibited the group from seeing or talking to the teachers.

According to RMP, the teachers are being investigated because they were allegedly affiliated with Sultan Jamla who was facing warrants of arrest. The group was assured by Ordaneza that the teachers are safe.

“It is important to note that the teachers were reported missing since the 12th of November. They have been in the custody of the 103rd Brigade for 15 days — more than the prescribed number of days allowed by law that police/military personnel can detain suspected persons or persons of interests without cases filed before them,” the RMP said.

The RMP is demanding for the release of the teachers, pointing out that they are not facing any cases.

“In the absence of cases filed before the teachers, the 103rd Brigade are holding the teachers illegally,” it added.

Last November 12, the day when the teachers went missing, soldiers of the 51st and 81st Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army were seen roving around Sitio Babalayan, Barangay Durongan, Tagoloan 2, Lanao del Sur. They were looking for a certain Sultan Jamla and Datu Langi, both known community leaders in the area.

During this time, four literacy-numeracy volunteer teachers of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-region were conducting classes in the community’s school.

Source: Sunstar Cagayan de Oro

Date: November 29, 2018