Karapatan dares Philippine Army to disarm paramilitary group Alamara

“We dare the 72nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) to disarm Alamara which has been on a killing spree in Kapalong, Davao del Norte,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said. Alamara, a paramilitary group known to be armed and supported by the 72nd and 60th IBPA, has been “reportedly on a power trip and sowing terror in Kapalong villages by killing people out of sheer compulsion or even personal grudges,” Palabay said.

Last April 4, 2015, in Patel, Kapalong Davao del Norte, Reynaldo "Inal" Martir and Teresita were killed inside their corn mill by Alamara member Panggong Masaloon who was drunk. 

Masaloon approached Reynaldo and asked the latter to have his corn milled ahead of others’. Teresita and Reynaldo declined as the mill has a “first come, first served policy”. Masaloon left and warned Teresita that he would come back.  After a few minutes, Masaloon returned with a bandolier and an M14 rifle. He immediately fired three rounds at Reynaldo killing him instantly. Teresita screamed in horror and was shot with three rounds right after. 

After killing the couple, Masaloon turned his sight to Nicole, the 8-year-old daughter of the Martir couple. Nicole’s uncle immediately pulled her away before Masaloon was able to pull the trigger. Masaloon then ran outside the mill and began strafing the passers-by. 

In Barangay Gupitan, Lumogtan brothers Mando, Rodel, Manggot, Labyan, and Romy who are all members of Alamara killed Songkok Asero, 45, and daughter Diane, 20, on March 26. The reason for the killing: rejection of a marriage proposal.   

Five years ago, when Diane was only 15 years old, she and Mando Lumogtan were engaged through “buya” (arranged marriage). The wedding did not push through because Diane was then a minor and was not ready to marry. The rejection drove Mando mad and threatened to kill Diane and her family. Last year, the five brothers were recruited to Alamara  and were armed. 

Now armed and backed by the army, the five brothers went to the Asero residence at Sitio Magimon, Barangay Gupitan. When they did not find Songkok and Diane were not at home, the Lumogtan brothers slashed all the water containers. They then left. 

The Lumogtan brothers immediately came back to the Asero residence when Songkok and Diane arrived, and instantly fired at the father and daughter. Meren, Songkok’s wife and their third son, Buro were able to escape. 

As early as 2002, Karapatan has documented cases of human rights violations involving Alamara, directly or as back-up of the military during operations. The cases include extrajudicial killings, harassment and intimidation, and massacre.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines establish paramilitary groups like Alamara as force multipliers in the counterinsurgency operation. Turning the people against their own, the AFP arms civilians to sow terror, to pacify any form of unrest—a cheap trick by the AFP to cover-up the violations they commit,” Palabay concluded.