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Makabayan’s silence on Otaza killings

/ 12:28 AM October 31, 2015

The rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) has owned up to the killing of Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto town, Agusan del Sur, and his son. It was a brutal and merciless criminal violation of law, for which the NPA should be held liable and punished.

But one thing I noticed when this news came out, no one from the Makabayan bloc, especially Karapatan and Bayan Muna, condemned the crime and called for justice for the two lumad. Where are these groups and their leaders? They say they are fighting for people’s rights. They have been saying this for the past several months in the media, and even used the #stoplumadkillings on Twitter. But on the killing of the Otazas, we haven’t heard a word from them.

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If these groups are really fighting for the lumad and their rights, why haven’t they stepped out and marched for justice for the lumad mayor and his son?

Here is a clear violation of the rights of two indigenous people. The NPA killed the mayor and his son simply because the former, himself a former rebel, was helping and supporting fellow lumad who want to lead peaceful lives. Mayor Otaza was a role model. He was an inspiration to many fellow lumad, espousing advocacies and pursuing projects that benefited lumad communities.

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The NPA also killed the son who could have continued the mayor’s good works. The NPA stole the young Otaza’s future.

Is this what the NPA rebels want for our country? Blood and violence?

As a teacher, I have a big dream not only for my students but also for our society. I am striving hard to educate my students for them to have a better future. I don’t want their lives ruined or stained with blood, or destroyed by lies and a selfish ideology.

—PATRICIA Q. CONTRERAS, [email protected]

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TAGS: Agusan del Sur, Bayan Muna, Dario Otaza, Karapatan, Lumad, Makabayan bloc, New People’s Army
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