Peace body wants closure of UCCP Haran

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DAVAO CITY — The Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) XI on Wednesday , January 15, 2020, passed a resolution seeking closure of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Southern Mindanao Center along Fr. Selga St. this city, citing various violations committed by the institution.

In passing the resolution for the closure, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, the RPOC chair said, the move for its closure is due to the various violations committed by the said institution.

Dayanghirang said the UCCP Haran leadership violated the IPRA Law (Indigenous People’s Rights), the Republic Act 7610 (Child abuse protection law), and serious illegal detention and is involved in human trafficking. 

But UCCP Mindanao Bishop Hamuel Teguis in an interview with NewsLine said they do not violate any law “Ang simbahan nagpabilin sa iyang mission nga santuaryo sa mga nangita ug kapasilugan, wala usab namu gipugngan ang mga lumad nga mopauli, ang amo lang nga dunay kalinaw, kasiguraduhan ug makaon sa ilang pagpauli sa ilang kumunidad.:

(The church remain true to its mission to provide sanctuary for those who want to stay, we do not prevent them from going home, our point is there must be peace, safety guarantee and food in their communities when they go home).

The resolution even called on government agencies to file charges against the concerned leaders inside the compound.

Dayanghirang said “We are urging the concern agencies to file appropriate charges for we want it to be closed as soon as possible.” 

To this, Teguis said they will wait for the formal complaint and the copy of the resolution.

UCCP Haran has been the temporary shelter of the indigenous people (IPs) from the different municipalities of regional X! since early 2015.

The IPs claimed they fled their communities to protect themselves against the soldiers and their para-military group called Alamara who are accusing them of supporting the communist movement.

But the military and the local government units concerned denied it. Instead, they accused the militant groups of forcing the IPs to participate in various anti-government protests in the region and even in Metro Manila through the so-called Manilakbayan caravan.

RESCUE. In May 2019, some 37 iPs escaped the UCCP Haran Compound. The municipal government of Kapalong rescued them and returned them to their communities. photo courtesy: PIA XI

Davao del Norte Governor Ewin Jubahib who moved for the closure said, many of those inside Haran are from his province and have manifested through emissaries to come home but leaders inside UCCP Haran prevented them.

Jubahib said children inside Haran are forced to stay and their parents cannot just leave the place.

On May 19, 2019, some IPs escaped from the compound claiming they could no longer exist in a place where they are controlled and not allowed to get out .-Editha Z. Caduaya

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