Karapatan-Southern Mindanao lambast Army for urging set-up of private armies

DAVAO CITY–Karapatan Southern Mindanao Region lambasted the calls of Colonel Alan R. Luga, commanding officer of the 1001st Brigade urging mining and logging owners in Compostela Valley Province to create Special Civilian Active Auxiliary Units (SCAA) or private armies guided to implement the Investment Defense Force ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today.

This, the group said, the calls of the 1001st Brigade commander will continue military rule and fascism and is responsible for the human rights abuses in the area.

The killing of Datu Dominador Diarog and the wounding of his wife Emily and their children Mimi, 4 years old, Jenelly, 8 years old at Sitio Kahusayan, Guianga, Tugbok District, Davao City last April 29 is a classic example of the notoriety perpetrated by the SCAA or private army that is being trained by the regular Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“The death of Datu Doming and the brutality committed against his family is at the hands of the AFP assigned in this area and their trained SCAA and private armies who terrorize lumad communities whose only fault is that they have defended their ancestral domains like the vigilant community of Datu Diarog,” Karapatan Southern Mindanao Region Secretary General Kelly M. Delgado said.

“Luga’s barefaced recruitment of SCAAs poses threats on the ancestral land of our lumad brethren targeted by large scale mining, loggers and other pseudo- development projects,” Delgado .

Delgado added, “This shows that the army soldiers are ready to use military force to defend the interest of the few elite and curtail the rights of the ordinary citizens like the lumads.”

“There is indeed an urgency to stop the efforts of Col. Luga in the province of Compostela of encouraging capitalists to form SCAA or private armies to avoid the death of many other lumad leaders. This is also concrete manifestation that the army soldier’s interests are to protect capitalists and known personalities rather than ordinary and poor citizens,” Delgado said.

“We urge the provincial and municipal local government officials in Compostela Valley Province to stop the efforts of Col. Alan Luga to spare their constituents from suffering in the bloodthirsty hands of the army soldiers, SCAA and private armies in their area,” Delgado said.

KARAPATAN reiterated that the formation or creation of SCAA or private armies will add to the long record of human rights abuses and military rule in Compostela Valley Province. #