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Arrested farmers accuse military, police of frame-up


By Malu Cadelina-Manar

Kidapawan City – Two farmers, who belong to a militant group, accused the military and police of planting pieces of evidence to justify their arrest in separate raids in Magpet, North Cotabato on Tuesday.

Harold Adiaton and Ian Solis, organizers for the Panaghiusa sa mga Mag-uuma sa Magpet (PAMA), were arrested after soldiers and policemen allegedly found improvised explosive devices (IED) in their houses.

But the two suspects accused the government operatives of planting the pieces of evidence.

Adiaton denied keeping an IED in his house, saying he saw a member of the raiding team place the item on his child’s bed.

“After that, they told me it was an IED and immediately chained me,” he said.

In another raid on Tuesday, police and soldiers arrested Datu Maylan Andas, leader of the Manobo-Aromanon-Pasakaday Association (MAPA).

MAPA and PAMA both belong to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Joy Mirasol, secretary-general of Karapatan-North Cotabato, alleged that the Army and police committed human rights violations by arresting the three farmers.

But Lt. Col. Harold Argamosa, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said Andas was arrested for frustrated murder based on a warrant of arrest issued in 2015.

He maintained that Adiaton and Solis were also arrested for keeping IEDs.

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