13 May 2022
A shooting incident transpired at around 5:30 this morning (13 May 2022) in Purok 8, Barangay Embayao, Don Carlos, Bukidnon perpetrated by a group of unidentified armed men involving the Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungod Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs), where the group of IPs led by Ismail Labawan Bento under Labawan Clan were attacked and shot several times at their shanties by unidentified armed men and an exchange of gunfire ensued. Initial report from the Don Carlos Municipal Police Station (DCMPS) stated the death of Ismael Labawan Bento, 42 years old, resident of Danggawan, Maramag, Bukidnon; Russel Luceño Montavo, 27 years old, resident of Danggawan, Maramag, Bukidnon; and Rene Denosta Dorado, legal age, resident of Mailag, Valencia City, Bukidnon; and Garry Miranda, legal age, resident of Sinayawan, Valencia City, Bukidnon was initially wounded but eventually expired.
The killed armed aggressors were identified as Fernan Medalla Candole, 27 years old, married, and a resident of Purok 1, Barangay Buyot, Don Carlos, Bukidnon and Emelito dela Piña Camos, of legal age, farmer, and a resident of Purok 4, Gandingan, Pangantucan, Bukidnon.
Maramag Community Service Center (CSC) Head Reymond E. Pimentel and Ms. Josephine C. Gompot coordinated with DCMPS and 88IB. The DCMPS immediately proceeded and conducted investigation at the area of the incident.
The DCMPS recovered forty (40) fired cartridge cases of Cal. 5.56, one (1) plastic Magazine of Cal. 5.56, and two (2) fired cartridge cases of Cal. 7.62 which will be turned over to Bukidnon Forensic Unit for Ballistics Examination. The dead bodies were brought to Bukidnon Provincial Hospital of Maramag, Bukidnon for Post Mortem Examination.
It could be recalled that on 11-13 January 2021, Cerenio Indao with Cheran Salvado and company facilitated an Information and Education Campaign (IEC) on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) and Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines. It was attended by the IP leaders of Ambugkel Manobo Tribal Association (AMTA), CSC and Community Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) holders of Barangays Buyot, San Roque, and Embayao, Don Carlos, Bukidnon, and other concerned offices.
In February 2022, a Technical Working Group (TWG) dedicated to address the AMTA issues and concerns relating to land conflicts between IP Communities and Tenurial Instrument Holders was formulated consisting of representatives from NCIP, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Provincial Agrarian Reform Office (PARO), Local Government Unit (LGU) of Don Carlos, Bukidnon, DCMPS, Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs Leaders, Tenurial Instrument Holders, with the assistance of Former NCIP Commissioner Datu Cosme M. Lambayon.
On 09 February 2022, the NCIP Maramag CSC facilitated a Dialogue on Land Conflict within Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon Ancestral Domain held at the Municipal Hall, Don Carlos, Bukidnon which was attended by the TWG and representatives from Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs.
On 21 February 2022, another Dialogue on Overlapping of Tenurial Instruments and Titles issued within Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon Ancestral Domain and finalization of Maps such as Ancestral Domain Maps and Other Tenurial Instruments was conducted which was attended by the TWG, Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs and tenurial instrument holders.
On 04 May 2022, the NCIP Bukidnon Provincial Office facilitated a dialogue on Land Conflict of Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon Ancestral Domain held at Barangay Embayao, Don Carlos, Bukidnon which was participated in by NCIP Commissioner Pinky Grace Pareja, NCIP Bukidnon Provincial Officer Ma. Shirlene D. Sario, Maramag CSC Head Reymond E. Pimentel, PENRO Vergilio Alima, Representative from CENRO Don Carlos, Don Carlos Mayor Ma. Victoria O. Pizarro, Datu Warlito Sagubalan Clan, Datu Diego Alim Clan, CSC and CBFMA Holders, and other parties concerned. Unfortunately, Datu Teodoro Andil, Datu Francisco Lantong, and Datu Danilo Lingkitan, together with their Tribal Councils, were not able to attend the activity which prompted the body to reschedule the dialogue on 17 May 2022.
On 05 May 2022, another Dialogue on Bukidnon Domestic Airport Construction was held with the Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs, MINLALAGOY AD, Manobo ICCs of San Nicolas AD (5 Clans), and PMI Constructions at Col-om Residence, San Nicolas, Don Carlos, Bukidnon.
On 12 May 2022, NCIP received a letter from the Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs notifying the office of their refusal to attend the dialogue rescheduled on 17 May 2022 and that they are not open for any negotiations relating to Land Conflicts within their Ancestral Domain.
Thereafter, case conference was held in DCMPS attended by Provincial Investigation and Detection Management Unit (PIDMU) Chief PCOL SILVESTRE ASIONG, PCPT RITCHIE MURALLON of Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU), PCPT ALVEN JAY DACILLO of Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) and 88IB Commanding Officer LTC CHRISTIAN P VINGNO INF (GSC) PA. The group determined that the motive of the incident was Land Conflict since the Manobo-Kirenteken-Ilantungon ICCs/IPs will occupy the more or less 23,200 hectares awarded to them as per Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) Number R-10-DON-0216-206.
Follow up investigation is being conducted by NCIP Bukidnon, Region X and DCMPS.