ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Violence against the indigenous: a boy killed, the Bishops call for "a serious investigation"

Thursday, 21 January 2016 indigenous  

Davao (Agenzia Fides) - Pain and closeness to the family; a serious investigation to establish the facts; the end of abuses on indigenous peoples: it what the "Commission for Indigenous Peoples" of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines ask for in the aftermath of the killing of 15-year-old Alibando Tingkas, killed on January 17, the latest victim of a wave of killings against indigenous people on the island of Mindanao in recent months. The boy was a member of the "Manobo" tribe and was killed in the province of North Davao. PIME missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio, whose murderer still remains unpunished, carried out his pastoral ministry among the Manobo.
According to the Philippine NGO "Karapatan", committed to the defense of human rights, 28 children, 12 of them indigenous, have been killed since 2010, when the government began to intensify military operations in areas suspected of being a refuge of insurgent communists. According to the NGO, in all there are 140 indigenous victims killed since the current government of Benigno Aquino came to power.
For the human development of the Manobo, the Redemptorists helped finance the construction of a "Community Learning Center", which opened in the northern province of Davao in 2013, to protect and promote the fundamental rights of tribal people through education and professional training. "We are dismayed by the recent events especially since the victim was a student of the school that we built", said the Redemptorist Fr. Carlos Ronquillo denouncing "the attempt to stop the process of education and empowerment of the Manobo communities". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 21/01/2016)