Solon seeks House probe on airstrikes in Bukidnon

A party-list group has sought a congressional probe into the alleged military’s excessive use of force in North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

In filing House Resolution 1113, the Gabriela Women’s Party represented by Rep. Arlene Brosas claimed that the military operations in those areas resulted in human rights violations and massive displacement of families, days after the high court upheld the Mindanao-wide martial law declaration.

The parry-list group asked the House committee on human rights to probe in aid of legislation the airstrikes, shelling, and burning of houses by members of the Philippine Army’s 39th and 72nd Infantry Battalion in North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

“Excessive use of force by the military in North Cotabato and Bukidnon, where there is no confirmed presence of the Maute group, should be probed as it has already resulted in gross rights violations based on the reports that we received from the communities,” Brosas said.

“The SC decision upholding the martial law in Mindanao should not preclude a congressional investigation on this matter. The civilians in the affected areas are demanding accountability and seeking urgent help,” she added.

The women’s party-list group said Barangays Salat and Tuael in President Roxas, North Cotabato, and Barangays Tangkulan and Anggaan in Damulog, Bukidnon experienced aerial bombardment, mortar shelling, and indiscriminate firing by the military on May 25.

HR 1113 said the military bombardment resulted in the death of Adbullah Mamansag and severe injuries to five more civilians, which include a minor.

The series of airstrikes and strafing using an attack helicopter and cannons in the affected areas also caused the forced mass evacuation of more than 1,600 Moro people and 260 families, Brosas said in the resolution.

The GWP also noted unverified reports of houses that were burned down by the military on May 27 and 28.

“The military’s abuses and violations must not go unchecked even if the three branches of government are supporting the martial law declaration. We will continue to bring reports of communities out in the open in whatever way we can,” Brosas said

Topics: congressional probe , Bukidnon airstrikes , House Resolution 1113 , Gabriela Women’s Party , Rep. Arlene Brosas
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