URGENT ALERT: Lumad students tortured in North Cotabato

Yesterday,November 18, five children, ages 15-16 years old, were heading to their farms when they came across around 15 soldiers from 19th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA). The soldiers were in full battle gear, had red eyes and piercings. The soldiers came from a military operation and were on their way to their barracks at the center of Barangay Bagumbayan, Magpet, North Cotabato, when they chanced upon the five children.

The children, 2 boys and 3 girls, were all students of Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) in North Cotabato.

The five minors were questioned and interrogated by the soldiers as to the whereabouts of the New People’s Army (NPA). The children who were unaware of the things being asked of them, failed to provide answers. This prompted the soldiers to hit the two boys in the stomach, subsequently forcing them to kneel. The two were mauled and were forced to accompany the soldiers to an alleged location of the NPA.

The soldiers further threatened the children, telling them they will be shot if they do not answer their questions. A soldier said: “Unsa man imong gusto? Molingkod nga pusilon o modagan nga pusilon?” (What would you like? We will shoot you while sitting down or while running?”

Fearing that they might be killed, the three girls made loud noises to alert any passerby.

All the five children were then brought to Sitio Bantaan, Barangay Bagumbayan, Magpet, North Cotabato. As of this writing, the victims are now with their respective families, albeit traumatized by their experience. #

#EndMartialLaw
#SaveLumadSchools
#RespectChildrensRights

Source: Save Our Schools Network

Date: November 19, 2018