Pro-Government Militias

Pro-Government Militia Website

Documentation for Alamara

April 17, 2007
Manila Times

DAVAO CITY: The communist New People's Army (NPA) under the 1st Pulang Bagani Command led by Leonardo Pitao alias Kumander Parago has vehemently denied having a hand in the massacre of a family of four at Sitio Isled, Barangay Dalagdag, Calinan District, this city on April 10.
In a one-page statement released to the media here, the NPA instead pointed to the Alamara, a group of lumads, or tribal groups formed by the military to fight against the NPA.
"From all indications, this highly condemnable barbaric act points to the military brainchild Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit [Cafgu]-Alamara that has been responsible for years of banditry, salvaging, and other deplorable acts of intimidation in the hinterlands," the letter signed by Ka Parago said. (...)
"The Alamara bandits are acting out the military's script so as to deflect attention from the victorious DAPECOL raid and public condemnation over the military's indiscriminate firing and killing of 9-year-old Grecil Galacio in Compostela Valley," the statement added.

Sept. 16, 2014
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Indigenous people's groups have sought the help of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to intercede in the pangayaw (tribal war) waged by the paramilitary group Alamara against the communist New People's Army (NPA) in the village of Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte, saying the move would only result in bloodshed.
Isidro Indao, spokesperson of the group Pasaka, said in a press conference Monday, the pangayaw the Alamara declared against the NPA could easily drag civilians in the fighting by indiscriminately accusing residents of being NPA members.
"We decided to ask for help from Mayor Duterte after Kapalong local officials turned a deaf ear to our concern," Indao said in Cebuano.
"We ask the help of Mayor Duterte to call for a dialog with the Alamara, with (Kapalong) Mayor Edgardo Timbol and the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples)," he said. "We would really like the NCIP to be there because we heard that the NCIP supported the pangayaw." (…)
Col. Harold Cabreros, commander of the Philippine Army's 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said two assault rifles, an improvised bomb and subversive documents were also recovered after the encounter.
Aris Francisco, a local NPA spokesperson, issued a statement, branding the Alamara as a bandit group said to be financed by the military and allegedly supported by the local government, accusing the armed group of human rights abuses against lumad communities in Gupitan.

May 27, 2015
Karapatan;; accessed on Feb. 17, 2016

“We dare the 72nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) to disarm Alamara which has been on a killing spree in Kapalong, Davao del Norte,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said. Alamara, a paramilitary group known to be armed and supported by the 72nd and 60th IBPA, has been “reportedly on a power trip and sowing terror in Kapalong villages by killing people out of sheer compulsion or even personal grudges,” Palabay said. (…)
As early as 2002, Karapatan has documented cases of human rights violations involving Alamara, directly or as back-up of the military during operations. The cases include extrajudicial killings, harassment and intimidation, and massacre.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines establish paramilitary groups like Alamara as force multipliers in the counterinsurgency operation. Turning the people against their own, the AFP arms civilians to sow terror, to pacify any form of unrest—a cheap trick by the AFP to cover-up the violations they commit,” Palabay concluded.

Aug. 3, 2015
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The problem there is really deep. It is really ideology that's working out there. The Alamara is the armed component of the government that was let loose in the mountains and they strike fear in the hearts of the lumad (indigenous people), Duterte said, referring to the militia unit with Manobo members. (…)
The UN Special Rapporteur said among the pressing concerns was the forced recruitment of indigenous people to join a the Alamara, which is believed to behind cases of human rights violations.
They (evacuees) described to me their concerns including their alleged forced recruitment into paramilitary groups, known as Alamara, under the auspices of the AFP and harassment in the context of the on-going conflict between the AFP and the NPA (New People's Army), Beyani said.
He expressed alarm over reports of occupation by military and Alamara forces of schools, disrupting classes of children.

Sept. 23, 2015
Human Rights Watch;, accessed on Feb. 17, 2016

Human Rights Watch received reports that elements of the military were consistently nearby when the Alamara group carried out attacks in Davao del Norte. In some instances, the troops accompanied paramilitaries as they harassed students and teachers of a tribal school in the town of Talaingod. “The soldiers stayed outside the classrooms but allowed the Alamara to go inside, fully armed, accusing us of being supporters of the NPA [the communist New People’s Army],” said one student, referring to an incident in March.
Tribal and environmental groups have accused the military of using these paramilitaries, who are tribal members and thus familiar to local residents, to help clear ancestral areas to pave the way for mining companies and other business interests. The government has designated the Caraga region, which includes Surigao del Sur, as the “mining capital of the Philippines.” Davao del Norte and Bukidnon are also known for rich mineral and natural resources that indigenous peoples claim as their ancestral domain. (…)
A paramilitary group called the Alamara has since 2014 committed violence against villages of indigenous peoples in the provinces of Bukidnon and Davao del Norte. The group has particularly harassed students at tribal schools run by religious and nongovernmental groups, claiming that these schools are used to indoctrinate tribal children in communist ideology. School administrators respond that the government-accredited schools teach approved subjects attuned to the tribe’s culture.
The Philippine armed forces has denied allegations of direct or indirect involvement in the paramilitary attacks. It has instead accused the NPA and alleged supporters of spreading what military officials call “black propaganda.” At a September 15 news conference inside the armed forces headquarters in Manila, three tribal leaders denied the military’s involvement in the violence, and accused the NPA of instigating it. However, Pimentel and other tribal groups said that two of the three leaders at the news conference were actually leaders of the Magahat and the Alamara.
“The armed forces is not involved in these alleged abuses. What is happening is a tribal war,” Maj. Gen. Cesar Lactao, chief of the 4th Infantry Division, told Human Rights Watch, noting that the Magahat and the Alamara as well as the victims themselves were all from tribal communities. He asserted that the allegations were just “propaganda” by the military’s enemies. (…)

In the neighboring province of Bukidnon, Alamara, the paramilitary group consisting of members of the Ata-Manobo tribe and former rebels has been implicated in numerous attacks, including nine killings in one town alone, Cabanglasan. The Alamara alleged that the victims were NPA rebels or sympathizers, which would not have justified executing people in their custody. On March 28, they killed Prenie Landasan, a shop owner. “They came to my son’s store one night, looking for him,” said Nenita Landasan, Prenie’s mother. “And when they found him inside, they shot him to death.” (…)
In Davao del Norte province, similar attacks on schools and students have been taking place since 2012, according to the Save Our Schools Network. Ricky Balilid, 30, a teacher since 2012 at the Talaingod campus of the Mindanao Interfaith School Foundation Academy, told Human Rights Watch that soldiers would harass students and teachers. On January 5, 2015, soldiers and Alamara blocked Balilid while he was on his way to the school. “If you go through, we will chop you up and kill you,” Balilid quoted one of the Alamara as telling him. He said that soldiers and the Alamara were frequently together inside the school grounds.
Early this year, soldiers arrested a group of students on the way to get Balilid from the town center to accompany him to the school. They were released except for one student whom the military detained at their outpost for a week. The student said the soldiers tried to convince him to spy on the NPA but he refused.
Balilid said the presence of soldiers and Alamara paramilitaries had a major impact on students and teachers. Some students would not show up for days out of fear. “It takes two days of walking from the nearest town to our school,” Balilid said. “It is a very, very tough environment, so not too many teachers want to be assigned here. These soldiers and Alamara are only adding to our troubles.”

Feb. 1, 2016
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Ata-Manobo villagers are crying anew for help to stop what they call another wave of atrocities being committed by suspected anticommunist militiamen in their communities here.
The lumad (indigenous) leaders aired their appeal shortly after returning to their homes from a Protestant Church-operated sanctuary in Davao City in May, where they took shelter from alleged abuses committed by the Alamara, a tribal militia unit purportedly propped up by the military for its counterinsurgency activities.
They renewed calls for the pullout of soldiers from their villages and the dismantling of the Alamara.
Maj. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, said the military had never tolerated abuses against lumad communities. He denied that the military was supporting the Alamara, though he acknowledged that it was recognizing legitimate tribal armed groups such as the baganis (tribal warriors).
The bagani is part of the political structure of the tribes. We don't know about that Alamara. We are consistent with our view that this Alamara is nonexistent, Guerrero said.
Contrary to claims by human rights groups that the military has been using the Alamara as a proxy against the New People's Army (NPA), Guerrero said he has yet to find any evidence that the Alamara has helped in our counterinsurgency efforts.
Datu Cris OlaNo told North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, chair of the House committee on indigenous peoples, during her visit on Friday that barely three days after we returned to our homes, killings happened again and the Alamara continues to threaten us.