The military belied the claim of the Save Our School (SOS) network that a 15-year-old Lumad student in Talaingod was shot by a member of a Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) in Sitio Milyong, Barangay Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said a member of the government militia did not shoot the Lumad student.
Instead, it was Jimbo Valintin, who accidentally hit the victim when he fired his shotgun at Andomy Umasay, who was with the CAA Eroy Valintin at that time.
He said the incident happened on Jan. 7, 2019, contrary to the claim of Save Our Schools Network (SOS) that the incident happened on Mar. 15, 2019.
“The case was settled through the tribal justice system which is allowed by IPRA,” he said.
In their Facebook page, the SOS Network said the victim, Jerome Pangadas, was a grade six student of Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center and a resident of Sitio Kamingawan, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod.
The group claimed that at around 6 p.m. of March 15, a Cafgu member opened fire at a certain ‘Andomeng’ and ‘Umow’, residents of Sitio Milyon. One of them only sustained wounds while Jerome was hit on the head killing him on the spot. He was then watching TV at Andomeng’s house when the incident happened.
Balagtey said the offending party offered a horse and was accepted by the offended party – a tribal gesture of amicably settling a dispute.
In fact, he said the troops mediated and helped out in caring for those who were harmed and killed during the unfortunate incident.
“The situation in the community has been normal and peaceful since the settlement was reached,” he added.
In his statement, Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., the EastMinCom chief, advised netizens to “beware of fake news or propaganda being sent to you or posted in social media.”
“Any concern or issue regarding our unit or subordinate units can be raised or clarified with our Public Information Office,” Santos said.