POLICE Regional Office 11 director, Brigadier General Filmore B. Escobal yesterday said he has ordered an investigation of findings that a United Church of Christ of the Philippines’ compound in Davao City has been turned into a ‘front’ of the CPP/NPA/NDF.
He referred to the UCCP Haran which is housing around 125 families composed of some 400 indigenous people from Talaingod and Kapalong municipalities in Davao del Norte; Bukidnon, Arakan, North Cotabato and Davao de Oro at present and which he said is a ‘fake evacuation center.’
Escobal supported the statement of the Region 11 Department of Social Welfare and Development that ‘Haran is not a DSWD-accredited evacuation center and thus, is a fake.”
“This evacuation center is being used as a CPP/NPA/NDF front to gain fund support for the subversive activities of these organized crime groups,” said the Southern Mindanao police director in a press statement. Officials of the center are yet to respond to the PRO11 claim.
According to the PRO11 director, they have discovered that the IPs were being ‘exploited and manipulated’ by the rebels and that left-leaning groups in the region have created a scenario like burning of heavy equipment to protect the indigenous people that they are the ‘protector of the people and not the government.’
Escobal said that he has ordered his officials to assist in the ongoing investigation and case build-up against the people behind the ‘fake evacuation center.’
“If they have nothing to hide, the management of UCCP Haran should open its doors to concerned agencies for investigation. They should allow the Lumads to go back to their community to live a peaceful and normal life,” he added.
Last January 15, the Regional Peace and Order Council issued a resolution calling for the immediate closure of the UCCP Haran saying that the ‘security sector have recorded violations of Indigenous People’s rights, child abuse, child trafficking and exploitation of the IPs for terroristic activities committed inside the facility.”
Department of Interior and Local Government Region 11 director Alex Roland said that part of the basis for the closure of the evacuation center is its not being accessible to government agencies since government workers can not go inside the center.