[In the news] Military trained bagani tribal warriors – say NBI agent, ex-gov Piñol -MindaNews
Military trained bagani tribal warriors – say NBI agent, ex-gov Piñol
By Keith Bacongco
May 26 2013
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 May) – A lawyer of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that the military was the one that trained the baganis (tribal warriors) so they could help in the counter-insurgency campaign.
Even former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol corroborated the NBI lawyer’s statement, but he stressed that the purpose of the bagani is to defend the territories of the indigenous people.
He admitted that the baganis were trained during his term as governor, from 1998 to 2007.
Wenceslao Galendez, agent of the NBI’s North Eastern Mindanao Office based in Cagayan de Oro City, told the CHR panel that the bagani was led by Roelito Ayupat Gawilan, who is the barangay captain of Barangay Sinoda in Kitaotao, Bukidnon.
The CHR, led by chair Loretta Rosales, was in the city on May 22 to 24 for a three-day inquiry on the killing of Italian missionary Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, North Cotabato in October 2011.
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