Civilian lumad woman shot by 30th IB PA troops

Ka Maria Malaya
NDF-North Eastern Mindanao Region
September 15, 2011

Last September 10, 2011, at around three o’clock in the afternoon in the mountainous area of Panaytayon in Brgy. Mahaba, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte, troops of the 30th IB PA without warning, fired upon a lumad Mamanwa woman who was on her way to fetch water from a river. The wounded civilian lumad Mamanwa woman was Bebit Kalinaw Enriquez.

According to the report of one who directly investigated the indiscriminate firing incident, Bebit was on her way to the river to fetch water when she saw military men going down from the mountainous area. Scared and alarmed, she ran back to the shanty of her Datu uncle and relatives. She was immediately shot at and was hit in the chest.

She was able to run and sought help from her lumad relatives who wanted to bring her to the hospital. They were however, prevented from doing so by another group of the fascist army who forcibly brought Bebit to Brgy. Puting Bato, Cabadbaran, AGN and from there to the army hospital saying that she is a member of the NPA wounded during an encounter. This was despite the insistence of relatives and barrio members of Puting Bato that they will bring their wounded relative to the hospital and that she is not a member of the NPA.

At the time of the indiscriminate firing, the family of the highly regarded Datu Rabnat Kalinawan, his wife Elya, sons Toto, Warlito and Benny and Benny’s wife Victoria, were in the shanty. It took relatives five days to find the six. Community members and relatives suffered great anxiety worrying what happened to their leader/Datu during the five day search.

The incident shows the refusal of the fascist army to abide by the rules of engagement during military operations. They were clearly firing upon an unarmed woman lumad. Said lumad woman had only been carrying a gallon or water container. When a civilian and a woman at that would run, the army would then shot her. It seems that soldiers of the AFP are not trained to bring about arrests as it immediately fires upon the person.

To hide their blunder, the army lied again. They proclaimed said woman as a member of the NPA wounded during an encounter. THE LUMAD WOMAN IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE NPA. The Datu’s family built a shanty as they tried to earn a living through rattan gathering and planting camote and other root crops while gathering rattan to sell.

The military has time and again indiscriminately fired upon civilians living in shanties by their farmlands, shot them when they run, accuse them of being members of the NPA and arrest them. This has become a practice of troops during military operations. There has been no change from past counter-insurgency campaigns in the treatment of civilians. The so-called strengthening of the respect for human rights of the military under the COPD-Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino regime are but mere rhetoric and has been proven as lies time and again.