Missionary Sisters want speedy investigation on tribal chieftain’s slay


DAVAO CITY, May 13, 2008—After a couple of weeks following the massacre of the family of Bagobo-Klata Tribal Chieftain Dominador Diarog, the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption has called on the local government for a speedy investigation.

Diarog and his family were inside their home in Manuel Guianga, this city, when their house was strafed by unknown gunmen resulting to multiple gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body.

During the same incident, his wife Emily as well as two of his ten children, an 8-year old and a 4-year old, were also hit and had gunshot wounds in their body.

Diarog and his family were immediately brought to the hospital but the former did not survive.

Sr. Marietta Banayo of the Missionaries of the Assumption said that the killing of an innocent tribal chieftain deserves condemnation as it blatantly shows disrespect to the indigenous peoples’ culture.

Banayo added that the government should be sensitive with this issue as it also affects the peaceful existence of the indigenous communities in the city.

“We appeal to the city government for a speedy investigation so that justice will soon be served,” she said.

Banayo, also the president of the Assumption College of Davao (ACD) has called on concerned organizations to look into this case seriously so that justice will be properly rendered.

“It is sad to note that sometimes justice is being compromised in favor of the mighty while the least of our citizens who were victims still suffer,” Banayo told CBCPNews, Monday afternoon.

Part of the mission of the Missionaries of the Assumption is the promotion of IP”s rights, preservation of their cultures and proper education.

Reports said that the killing of Datu Diarog is intended to put him silent and also to drive off the tribal communities from their remaining two hectare land of ancestral domain.

The land was reported to be used for development project with an initial offer of P50,000 from a prospective buyer.

Again, news report here bared Apollo Quiboloy who calls himself “Son of God” as the one who made the offer of P50,000 to Datu Diarog twice for the purpose of converting their ancestral domain to planting pine trees around the prayer mountain.

Other news item posted at Mindanews recounted that there were four attempts to burn Diarog’s farmhouse at 1 a.m on March 1, 1 a.m. on April 4, 4 pm on April 8 and 2 p.m. the last one, on April 20. The last one succeeded.

But more than the burning, the Datu’s nephews, Danny and Junaz, told the press that their family was left with no other choice but to sell their two hectare land for P100,000 to Tambayong barangay captain Greg Canada, who is known among the villagers as representative of Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Worse, the nephews said were offered P 20,000 to kill Diaorg, their uncle.

In a statement sent to CBCPNews, Quiboloy said, “we do not wish to dignify the initial reports linking our congregation to the unfortunate incident that happened in a nearby barangay adjacent to the covenant mountain and prayer center in Tamayong.”

“We strongly deny these as totally false and baseless, if not ridiculous,” the statement further said.

JUSTICE FOR THE TRIBAL PEOPLE

Banayo, meanwhile, said that as several accusations and speculations have cropped out, it is all the more imperative for the local government to come up with a proper and impartial investigation.

“We trust in God that in due time the truth shall come out,” said Banayo even as she appealed to the influential not to manipulate the Diarog slay case.

“Patay na si Datu Diarog. Pero buhay pa ang kanyang pamilya na patuloy na tumatangis upang makamit lamang ang hustisya,” said Banayo.

She added that the death of Diarog is also a revelation of the long drawn out oppression to the marginalized sector in the society the indigenous people.

Banayo also asked the people to pray for justice for Diarog so that the real culprits will really serve their sentence.

Councilor Karlo Bello has also called for an objective investigation on the killing of Diarog. Like Bello, Councilor Rachel Zozobrado said, “while we seek justice for what happened to the Diarog family, we must not speculate.”

“Dominador Diarog belongs to an indigenous tribe that makes up the tri-people of Davao and Mindanao . It is thus our responsibility not only as Dabawenyos but as a people to seek the truth behind the murder of Diarog and the wounding of his family,” said Zozobrado.
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Zozobrado added that the incident should be an eye-opener on the plight of the lumads and what they have to go through just to protect their ancestral land.

She also urged concerned government agencies to adopt policies for the protection of the ancestral domain.

“Let us all endeavor to adopt policies for the protection of the ancestral domain. For only then will justice be truly achieved, and then, perhaps, Datu Dominador Diarog shall not have died in vain,” Zozobrado ended.

(CBCPNews)

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