[Statement] AMRSP statement on the Tampakan massacre -AMRSP

AMRSP statement on the Tampakan massacre

“Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us…? (Exodus 2:14)”

We, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines condemned the treacherous killing of Family members of a B’laan tribe leader opposed to the entry of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) in their ancestral domain area during a raid conducted by the military at their farm house. Three (3) members of Capion family died while the youngest daughter was wounded. The massacre on October 18, 2012 at about 6:30 in the morning in Sitio Fayahlob, Barangay Datal Aliong, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, is a manifestation of heartlessness and ruthlessness on the part of the perpetrators and criminals in uniform who were members of 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

AMRSP denounces this massacre for no one has the right to deprive anyone of the gift of life through an unjust and inhuman way. We demand justice for the members of Capion family who were brutally murdered. The voice of the woman victim who was pregnant and her children who were helplessly killed while still in bed shouted for justice to the heavens! We cannot simply be silent with this show of impunity for aside from the fact that the victims were defenseless; a mother and her children, their only sin is to stand for what they think is truthful and just!

We call on the present government to order an immediate and thorough investigation to ensure that justice be served. The residents in the area testified that they did not hear any exchanges of gunfire; they only heard two bursts of gunfire, which would be validated according to the detailed account of the witness who was interviewed. The witness claimed that the 2nd strafing of the military was done 20-25 meters away from the house where the mother and her child lay wounded, so the claim of the military that the victims were caught in a crossfire was false and could not be substantiated. The excessive use of force by the military should be thoroughly investigated, because they have known that the people there were civilians as the place and the farm house is visible. We call on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately pull out the military detachment in the area, as the community feared more violations may happen after the killing of Capion’s family.

May this occasion urge the government to seriously take action on behalf of the indigenous people and other sectors who are oppose to mining for this will wantonly damage the environment which we all hailed to be sacred and also damages the future resource for our children’s children.

AMRSP extends its sympathy to the surviving members of the Capion family and we assure them that the lives of their mother and their siblings will forever be remembered by all who work for justice and peace and the protection of Mother Earth!

May the God hear the cries of all victims of violence and may they obtain justice!
For Reference:

Fr. Marlon A. Lacal, O.Carm

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