Grade 6 Lumad student killed in Davao del Norte

Patty Pasion

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Grade 6 Lumad student killed in Davao del Norte
The Save Our Schools Network says 19-year-old Obillo Bay-ao was shot by a member of a paramilitary group

MANILA, Philippines – A 19-year-old Lumad student was allegedly killed by paramilitary forces in Davao del Norte, a network of child rights advocates said.

The Save Our Schools Network (SOS) said in a Facebook post that Obillo Bay-ao, a Grade 6 student of the Salugpongan Community Learning Center, was declared dead at the Davao Regional Hospital at 9 pm on Tuesday, September 5.  

SOS said Bay-ao was brought to the hospital after sustaining wounds from a gunshot fired by the member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, at 2:30 pm. (INFOGRAPHIC: Who are the Lumad?

Bay-ao is the 47th case of political killing in Southern Mindanao Region, according to the group, which is a network of child rights’ advocates and organizations, church-based groups, and other stakeholders.

In January last year, Grade 3 student Alibando Tingkas – also of the Salugpongan Community Learning Center – was also killed in the same area in Davao del Norte. Witness alleged that Tingkas was killed by a member of the Alamara paramilitary group. (TIMELINE: Attacks on the Lumad of Mindanao)

SOS said more than 3,271 Lumads had been forced to flee their homes due to military operations. Some 401 Lumad students and 29 volunteer teachers were also victims of alleged attacks of the CAFGU and Alamara. 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier threatened to bomb Lumad schools, alleging that these schools taught students to be subversives and communists. The military clarified, however, that Duterte was “just communicating a tough stance.”

SOS staged a protest in front of the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday as thousands of minority groups began camping out at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City for a 3-week solidarity campaign against the militarization of their communities.  

“Secretary Briones’ continuing disregard of the legitimacy of lumad schools and the violations committed by the state against the schools and its students and teachers, only justifies military attacks and repression against the lumad people,” said SOS spokesperson Rius Valle.  – 

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.