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Troops dismiss allegations of forced evacuation of Mamanwa families

(Photo courtesy of Jun Clerigo, DXKS)
The 30th Infantry “Python” Battalion Commanding Officer LTC Erwin Rommel Lamzon has dismissed the allegations made through text messages that there was a forced evacuation of Mamanwa tribe of Kitcharao in Agusan del Norte from Sitio Bacud, Brgy. Luna in Surigao City.

“There is no truth to the SMS (short messaging system) involving 30IB troops vis-à-vis the evacuees of Sitio Zapanta Valley at Brgy. Luna, Surigao City. We uphold and observe human rights, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and the rule of law,” said Lamzon.

Lamzon’s reaction came after certain groups circulated an SMS that the 30IB troops were about to demolish the Mamanwa’s temporary shelter in Sitio Bacud in Brgy. Luna on June 4, and that they were forced to return to their homes in Sitio Zapanta Valley, Brgy. Bongayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.

“Our presence there was part of a task force created by the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) Surigao City that would oversee the safe return of evacuees to their place in Agusan del Norte,” said Lamzon.

Around 37 Mamanwa families or 137 individuals fled their homes last May 31 due to armed clashes between the military and the New People's Army (NPA). (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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