Apr 29, 2021 @ 13:53

Davao court orders arrest of church officers for sheltering Lumad children

The Davao City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has issued an arrest warrant against six officers of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran center for giving shelter to Lumad children fleeing the militarization of their communities.

Branch 12 Judge Dante Baguio signed the order dated April 21, 2021, as he found probable cause to proceed with their charges for two counts each of violation of the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Ordered arrested were Bishop Hamuel Tequis, Reverend Daniel Palicte, Ephraim Malazarte, Lindy Trenilla, Grace Avila, and Pasaka Confederation of Lumad Organization secretary Jong Monzon.

The court fixed the bail at P80,000 for each count of violation of the anti-child abuse law.

The charges concerned allegations that the Lumad children were kept against their will and taught to make bombs, ambush soldiers and dismantle firearms.

In a statement, UCCP said police officers went to the office of its Southern Mindanao District Conference and Brokenshire College to look for Tequis.

“Bishop Tequis is being harassed due to his genuine passion of serving the poor and needy especially the Lumads,” UCCP said.

“Please join us in prayer for the safety of Bishop Tequis, the Lumads in UCCP Haran Sanctuary, and all persons involved in Lumad ministries,” it added.

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