On 1st year of incarceration: Rural missionaries demand freedom of its chief agriculturist in Southern Mindanao
Manila, Philippines- The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Dominiciano “Dioning” Muya, chief agriculturist of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao (RMP-SMR). Muya was illegally arrested in October 16 last year in Makilam Village, Tagum City, Davao del Norte by the elements of Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and was accused as a high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) with a P4.8 million bounty on his head.
At present, he is detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) compound in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. According to RMP-SMR, he was charged with illegal possession of firearms, multiple murder, double frustrated murder, robbery with double homicide and damage to properties.
“We reiterate our demand for Muya’s freedom. He is a lay worker who was helping marginalized lumad communities and it is condemnable for servants like him to be subjected to unimaginable atrocity,” Sr. Francis Añover,rsm, RMP National Coordinator said.
Muya was teaching sustainable agriculture to lumad students of Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLCI) and was involved in the construction of the school in Talaingod, Davao del Norte by the time he was arrested. Since 2007, Muya was an RMP staff and administered the sustainable agriculture program of STTICLCI.
RMP said that Muya’s case is a living proof of systematic state terrorism against lumad communities and their advocates such as the brutal murder of Columban Father Faustino “Pops” Tentorio who was killed in Arakan town, North Cotabato on October 17, 2011. Fr. Tentorio was a staunch support of lumad communities on their fight against mining operations and recently many lumad and people’s groups marked the fourth year of injustice and inaction of the case.
“The lumad who are defending their lands from destruction brought about by corporate greed have addressed social services such as education with the help of the likes of Muya. The trumped up charges against him filed by the Aquino regime would only be dismissed through the wide-ranging clamor of the public who aspire respect for human rights, justice and peace, in this light, we urge the Catholic community to echo the cry for Muya’s freedom,” Añover appealed. ###
The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).