Alleged communist guerillas raid Lumad village in Bukidnon
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (UPDATED) – At least 100 alleged New People's Army (NPA) fighters, led by a certain Joseph, stormed an indigenous community in Bukidnon province and abducted 3 residents on Wednesday afternoon, November 4.
According to the militry, Sitio Upper Bayugan, Barangay Kitubo, in Kitaotao town was raided at around 2 pm.
Those who were kidnapped were identified as Nonoy Paradero, 61; Dilly Paradero, 48; and Jovanie Rebacca, 17. They are residents of Sitio Dao, Barangay White Kulaman, also in Kitaotao.
Samuel and Jovane were eventually released, but Paradero was brought to unknown location. (READ: TIMELINE: Attacks on the Lumad of Mindanao)
The victims are residents of the community where a school for the Lumad (indigenous people) was threatened with closure by village officials for allegedly being influenced by communist guerillas.
At the time, White Kulaman village chief Felipe Cabugnason said that the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Incorporated (MISFI) school was a "threat to the safety" of the residents in the village due to its alleged connections to the NPA.
On Wednesday, Colonel Jesse Alvarez, commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, ordered the 8th Infantry Battalion to conduct rescue operation in support of the police.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, suspected that the abduction is related to the closure of a school in their barangay.
“They were attacked in an area where they are not secure,” Martinez said.
According to White Kulaman village chief Cabugnason, the NPA were angered by the Lumad’s expulsion of MISFI, which operated the Father Fausto Tentorio Memorial School.
The school served around 60 students.
According to the military, the NPA had threatened to burn down the school after its closure and put the blame on the military.
The trouble in Barangay White Kulaman began on August 26, when the military, aiding the Regional Public Safety Battalion of the National Police, raided 57 homes suspected as being used by the NPA rebels to store firearms, ammunitions, and explosives.
The raid, carried out by virtue of a warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 39 in Misamis Oriental, yielded M79 grenade launcher and 5 sacks of Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
The NPA's attention then switched to the school, Alvarez claimed. – Rappler.com