MANILA – A 15-year-old Lumad student was allegedly shot dead by a suspected member of paramilitary group Alamara in Davao del Norte on Sunday.
Alibando Tingkas, a Grade 3 student of Salugpongan Ta 'Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, was on his way home with two companions when an alleged Alamara member fired at them.
The shooting occurred at 3 p.m. in Sitio Laslaskan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod town.
Tingkas' two companions managed to escape.
In a report by the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Save Our Schools (SOS) Network Spokesperson Rius Valle was quoted as saying that Salugpongan has long been the target of the paramilitary group which allegedly has links with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
''Sa ngayon, initial naming hakbang ay mailigtas yung dalawang witnesses. Kasama na [rito] ang pananagot sa salarin at pagsasampa ng kaso doon sa nakapatay, at [pagpapadisband sa Alamara],'' Valle said.
SOS said as of May 2015, there have been 13 incidents of military and paramilitary attacks on schools in Davao del Norte.
Public outrage over the plight of Lumad people reached its peak after three indigenous peoples, including a school head, were gunned down in Lianga, Surigao del Sur in September last year.
The fatalities were identified as Emerito Samarca, executive director of lumad school Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development; Manobo leader Dionel Campos; and his cousin Bello Sinzo.
Human rights group Karapatan accused the paramilitary group Mahagat-Bagani forces of perpetrating the murders. It likewise accused the military of causing the displacement of lumad in Mindanao.
The military has denied the existence of the paramilitary group.
It has also accused several lumad of empathizing with the New People's Army, saying some facilities harboring lumad, such as the Davao City Haran mission sanctuary of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), is under the control of leftist groups. - with a report from Rodirey Salas, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao