Sitio Canada Massacre Rodrigo Duterte’s hands are drenched in Lumad people’s blood

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This article is available in Pilipino

Spectres of fascist past and crimes against humanity endlessly haunt Rodrigo Duterte. As doors are reopened for International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate cases against Duterte and his clique, new information has surfaced surrounding a massacre of Lumads in Agusan del Sur.

On March 15, 2020, 88th IB troopers massacred five Higaonons in cold-blood in Sityo Canada, Barangay San Vicente, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. Among them are two minors. Relatives said Jellyboy Hagayhay (12), Ryan Lumista (16), Emon Hagayhay (18), Man-apyagan Lumista (19), Nieto Pasandigon (21), and Pablo Angkamping (40) where chanced upon and accosted by soldiers in their community. They were on their way to the town center to sell their produce.

The six were bound and tortured the entire day. By nightfall, five were killed by soldiers. Jellyboy was kept alive. Soldiers dumped the victims bodies in a shallow grave and the family without informing their families. A month passed before the family located the grave and the still tied-up bullet-riddled remains.

Jellyboy, witness to the heinous crime, is kept hostage at the 8th IB camp in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. He has been treated like a slave for three years in the military camp. The fascist demons refuse to release the child. They even threaten Jellyboy’s family.

When the crime was discovered, the community, along with their datu, confronted the soldiers. To settle and pacify the people, the soldiers forced relatives of the massacre victims to each accept ₱5,000. The barangay captain kept silent, being a paid agent of the National Task Force-Elcac.

Beside the massacre, the PNP Special Action Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) burned down the school and all the houses in Sitio Canada three days after the massacre. Fifteen houses in the village were reduced to ashes and almost nothing was left of the Lumad school built by religious groups and the community. The butchers burned books, papers, and other school materials.

Unsatisfied, soldiers and police additionally knocked down fruit trees and cleared an area in the community to make way for a helicopter landing pad. The 88th IB was then led by Lt Col Franklin Fabic (now a colonel of the Unified Command Staff for Intelligence of the AFP WestMinCom).

Since 2019, Ang Bayan has recorded at least 22 cases of human rights violations directly involving the 88th IB. More than 3,500 farmers and Lumads are victims of these cases.

Rodrigo Duterte's hands are drenched in Lumad people's blood