Tag Archive: Daguil Capion


The Army pulled out the 27th Infantry Battalion from the area of armed tribal group leader Daguil Capion after its troops were involved in an incident that killed his wife and two sons.

Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said he ordered the pullout after meeting with tribal leaders on Oct. 31.

“Napag-usapan is gusto nila (tribal leaders) to give justice [to the victims], kung puwedeng ‘yung 27th IB ay maalis dun, palitan ng ibang army, so 39th IB will be taking over,” Bernardo said.

The pullout, which took place on Nov. 1, saw the 27th IB withdraw from the entire town of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, as well as adjacent barangays in Tampakan, South Cotabato, and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, 10th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said.

The tri-boundary – called Kitaco for short – is known to be the area where B’laan tribesman Daguil Capion’s armed group operates.

It also hosts the “exploration site” of foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc., which plans to dig a gold and copper mine.

The area will now be secured by the 39th Infantry Battalion, which is headed by Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega and based in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Paniza said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Shalimar Imperial took over as commander of the 27th IB on Monday, following the resignation of Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo.

Bernardo led the turnover ceremony at the 27th IB headquarters in Tupi, South Cotabato, around 9 a.m., Paniza said.

Bravo resigned as commander of the 27th IB to give way to an investigation on the Oct. 18 incident that killed Capion’s wife Juvy, 31, and their sons Pop, 13, and John, 8, in Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan.

“He (Bravo) resigned out of ‘delicadeza’ and to give way to the ongoing investigation on the incident. Tinanggap naman ng higher headquarters ‘yung decision niya,” Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, said. (John Roson)

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The commander of an Army battalion in Central Mindanao has resigned from his post following the incident that killed a tribal leader’s wife and two sons, military officials said.

Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo’s resignation as commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion takes effect Monday, when a new commander will take over, Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, said.

“He (Bravo) resigned out of ‘delicadeza’ and to give way to the ongoing investigation on the incident. Tinanggap naman ng higher headquarters ‘yung decision niya,” Rodriguez said in a phone interview.

Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the 10th Infantry Division which supervises the 1002nd Brigade and effectively, the 27th IB, confirmed Bravo’s resignation.

Bravo will be replaced by Lt. Col. Shalimar Imperial, Paniza said in a text message.

Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th ID, will preside over the turnover ceremony at the 27th IB headquarters in South Cotabato and hold a media conference later at the Task Force Gensan headquarters in General Santos City.

Bernardo will discuss, among others, the results of an inquiry over the Oct. 18 incident that killed armed tribal group leader Daguil Capion’s wife Juvy, 31, and their sons Pop, 13, and John, 8, in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, Rodriguez said.

Thirteen members of the 27th IB were recommended by the 10th ID’s board of inquiry to face court martial proceedings over the incident.

The soldiers, led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez, were checking the reported presence of armed men in Brgy. Kimlawis but were fired upon so they retaliated, according to the military.

Jimenez admitted failing to assess who they were facing and found out later that they clashed with the group of Capion, whose family members were in the area, Paniza said in a recent interview.

The board of inquiry had requested the Army headquarters to convene a general court martial for Jimenez, Sgt. Dennis Murillo, Sgt. Rommel Ballenes, Cpl. Robert Godio, Cpl. Ayiha Namla, Cpl. Brucekhan Sahali, Cpl. Bashir Said, Cpl. Julah Majid, Cpl. Jemson Jadjuli, Pfc. Marlowe Gayamot, Pfc. Joel Lopez, Pfc. Darryl Tayamora, and Pfc. Richard Julian.

The soldiers will be tried for violations of Articles of War 76 (Misbehavior before the Enemy), 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman), and 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline), according to Paniza.

The incident happened at the gold and copper-rich boundaries of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur; Tampakan, South Cotabato; and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, where foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc. has an “exploration area.”

Capion, a member of the B’laan tribe, is described by anti-mining groups as a “tribal warrior” opposing Sagittarius Mines’ plan to dig a mine in the area.

The military and police, on the other hand, labeled Capion a “bandit” for his alleged involvement in several incidents, including the burning of mining equipment and ambush on security forces in the area. (John Roson)

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The Army has relieved the commander of the task force securing a gold and copper-rich area of Central Mindanao after his men shot dead the wife and two sons of a tribal leader, a military spokesman said Thursday.

Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo was removed as commander of Task Force Kitaco three days after the Oct. 18 incident that killed B’laan tribeswoman Juvy Capion, 31, and her sons Pop, 13, and John, 8, said Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

“We had to relieve him para ma-continue ‘yung activities doon, ‘yung mga engagement natin dun sa community… kasi mainit na masyado ‘yung mga relatives ng mga biktima,” Paniza said.

Bravo helmed Task Force Kitaco while commanding the 27th Infantry Battalion.

He was replaced by Capt. Joel Wayagwag as head of the 90-man task force, which was named after the towns of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur; Tampakan, South Cotabato; and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

The 27th IB, which Bravo still commands, will no longer have control over Task Force Kitaco, Paniza said.

“The task force will now be reporting directly to the 1002nd Brigade,” he said.

13 soldiers face court martial

At the same time, the 10th ID’s board of inquiry recommended that 13 soldiers directly involved in the incident face court martial proceedings.

Paniza identified the 13 as 1Lt. Dante Jimenez, Sgt. Dennis Murillo, Sgt. Rommel Ballenes, Cpl. Robert Godio, Cpl. Ayiha Namla, Cpl. Brucekhan Sahali, Cpl. Bashir Said, Cpl. Julah Majid, Cpl. Jemson Jadjuli, Pfc. Marlowe Gayamot, Pfc. Joel Lopez, Pfc. Darryl Tayamora, and Pfc. Richard Julian.

Jimenez led the team in checking the reported presence of armed men in Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan.

The soldiers said they were fired upon, but Jimenez admitted failing to assess who they were facing, Paniza said, citing a report by the young officer.

It was “only after the incident” that the troops found they clashed with the armed group of Daguil Capion, whose wife Juvy and several children were also in the area, Paniza said.

The soldiers might have thought that they were facing members of the New People’s Army (NPA) because the communist rebel group has a team – the Sub-Regional Guerrilla Unit Far South – in the area, he said.

“Nung magpunta sila (soldiers) doon sa area, hindi talaga si Daguil Capion ang sadya nila… na-findout na lang nila na nandoon ang pamilya ni Capion after the incident,” Paniza said.

“There was a lapse of judgment on the [part of the] company commander, for he failed to direct his men in accordance to the rules of engagement,” Paniza said.

The regional military spokesman, however, maintained that the incident was a “legitimate encounter,” not a “massacre” as what several groups claim.

The board of inquiry requested the Army headquarters to convene a general court martial for Jimenez and the 12 others.

According to Paniza, the soldiers will be tried for violations of Articles of War 76 (Misbehavior before the Enemy), 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman), and 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline). (John Roson)

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(updated) The Army removed from their posts a company commander and 11 soldiers as it admitted seeing lapses that might have led to the death of three civilians, including two minors, in a clash near Sagittarius Mines Inc.’s (SMI) exploration site in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, on Thursday.

1Lt. Dante Jimenez, commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion’s Bravo Coy, and 11 of his men were relieved so they can be investigated by a board of inquiry, Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said.

Paniza said Brig. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th ID, ordered the creation of the board of inquiry immediately upon learning of the deaths of B’laan tribeswoman Juvy Capion, 31, and her sons Pop, 13, and John, 8.

Jimenez and his men will stay at Camp Manuel Yan, the 10th ID’s headquarters in Mawab, Compostela Valley, while undergoing investigation.

Lt. Col. Alexis Noel Bravo, commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion, was also summoned to the 10th ID headquarters but was not relieved, Paniza said Friday night.

Battalion commander’s relief retracted?

In an interview Friday morning, Paniza said Bravo was relieved along with Jimenez.

“Parang ganun ang mangyayari, somebody will take over while they are undergoing investigation, para ma-determine natin kung mayroon bang lapses doon sa rules of engagement,” Paniza said by phone.

But Bernardo, in a later interview with another media entity, said Bravo was “recalled for investigation.”

A source in the 10th ID confirmed that Bravo was indeed among those relieved, until Bernardo made the “clarification” in the afternoon.

“He (Bravo) was relieved under the doctrine of command responsibility, as battalion commander. Temporary lang naman ‘yun while the investigation is ongoing and that’s only procedural,” the source said before Bernardo was interviewed.

“Kaninang umaga malinaw na malinaw he (Bravo) was among those who were ordered relieved, as per our higher-ups, that’s where we based our earlier statements on,” the source said, after being told of Bernardo and Paniza’s new pronouncements.

Paniza issued a statement Friday evening, denying “news” that Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista ordered Bravo’s relief.

Lapse seen

In the Friday morning interview, Paniza assured someone will be made responsible for the deaths of civilians in the clash.

“Isa sa mga assurance namin sa public is we will see to it na may mananagot dito sa nangyari kasi hindi naman natin puwedeng sabihin na collateral damage lang ito. May pagkukulang talaga, so somebody has to answer for this incident,” he said.

Asked if that meant military saw lapses, Paniza said: “Most likely… hindi pa man natin ma-determine kung gaano kalaki ‘yung lapse, but since may incident na ganun, posible na may managot talaga sa nangyari.”

“We also welcome any independent investigation para madetermine kung ano talaga ang katotohanan,” he said.

No raid

Paniza, however, dismissed environmentalist groups’ claims that Juvy and her sons were killed in a “raid” launched by the 27th IB.

He maintained that the soldiers were “patrolling” in response to reports on the presence of armed men, and were fired upon until forced to retaliate by the armed group of Juvy’s husband Daguil Capion.

“Ang nakikita namin doon, na kaya pala nandoon ‘yung asawa’t mga anak niya… siguro pinaakyat ni Capion dahil matagal na niya hindi nakikita ‘yung pamilya niya, hindi na siya nakakababa. Hindi naman na-verify, hindi naman na-check ng tropa natin na may iba pang occupant maliban dun sa grupo ni Capion,” Paniza said.

Juvy and her sons are residents of the lowlands of Sitio Datal Blao, which lies near the boundary of Tampakan, South Cotabato, he noted.

Bandit?

The regional military spokesman also brushed off anti-mining groups’ claims that Daguil Capion is a B’laan warrior tasked to protect the tribe’s ancestral domain, a large part of which is now occupied by Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI).

“Bago pa man nagkaroon ng SMI sa lugar na ‘to, itong si Daguil Capion notorious na ito na bandido, marami na itong pinaggagawa… ngayon nung di napagbigyan ng SMI ‘yung kanyang mga hiling, ginamit niya yung SMI na rason para ma-justify ‘yung kanyang mga pinaggagawa,” Paniza said.

Among the recent attacks blamed on Capion is the June 20 ambush that killed retired Supt. Villamindo Hectin, a security consultant of SMI, and PO2 Rey Tonso, a member of the Davao del Sur Provincial PNP’s Public Safety Company.

Paniza noted that even he has had his share of encounters with Capion during his stint as commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, which guarded Kiblawan from 2008 to 2010 before the 27th IB came.

“Napakatagal na problema na ‘yung banditry diyan, napagsalin-salinglahi na lang hanggang sa makaabot dun sa grupo ni Capion, nag-umpisa ‘yan sa cattle rustling… pag wala na silang makuha na mga farm animals, ang ginagawa naman nila nagtatanim ng marijuana. Several times na naming hinabol-habol ‘yang mga ‘yan dahil nagtatanim ng marijuana” he said.

Information drive

Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade which directly supervises the 27th IB, said the unit, for its parts, is conducting an information drive on the incident and extended financial assistance to the victims’ family.

“We see to it that timely information are sent to the persons or groups na dapat makaalaam nun in order to prevent wrong speculations. We also see to it that all possible assistance to the bereaved family,” he said.

The military shouldered all expenses for the burial of Juvy and her sons, which was scheduled to be held yesterday in Sitio Datal Blao, Rodriguez said.

Sagittarius Mines Inc. is the local partner of Swiss company Xstrata Plc. in operating a proposed gold and copper mine in an area straddling boundaries of Kiblawan, Tampakan of South Cotabato, and Columbio of Sultan Kudarat.

The area has a two-billion ton deposit of copper and gold, according to feasibility studies done by the companies. (John Roson)

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(see update here)

The wife and two young children of the leader of an armed tribal group were killed while his daughter was injured as government troops clashed with the group near Sagittarius Mines Inc.’s (SMI) exploration site in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, early Thursday, the military said.

Killed were Daguil Capion’s wife Jovy and their children Pop, 14, and John, 10, Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, said.

Capion’s 7-year-old daughter Vicky was wounded on the left ear and was treated before being brought to a relative.

The clash occurred around 6 a.m. in Sitio Aliong, Brgy. Kimlawis.

Rodriguez said members of the 27th Infantry Battalion, led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez, patrolled the area after receiving a report on the presence of armed men, but were fired upon and forced to retaliate.

The firefight lasted for about 15 minutes, after which the armed men withdrew towards Mt. Bololomot, leaving behind the three bodies and injured girl, he said.

Also found at the site were a rifle grenade, empty shells of M16 rifles, and two M16 magazines with live rounds of ammunition.

Soldiers informed Jovy’s parents of the incident and are extending any possible assistance in coordination with the Bongmal Tribal Council, Rodriguez said.

Capion, a member of the B’laan tribe, was implicated in the ambush that killed retired Supt. Villamindo Hectin, a security consultant of SMI, and PO2 Rey Tonso, a member of the Davao del Sur Provincial PNP’s Public Safety Company, last June 20, also in Brgy. Kimlawis.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an anti-mining group, condemned the attack on Capion’s family.

“It was well known that he (Capion) is not a rebel, not a member or supporter of either the communist insurgents or the Muslim rebel groups. He is a B’laan warrior tasked by his clan to protect the ancestral domains. In this case, the most obvious threat against their domain right now is the Tampakan mining project of SMI,” ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said in a statement.

Sagittarius Mines Inc. is the local partner of Swiss company Xstrata Plc. in operating a proposed gold and copper mine in an area straddling boundaries of Kiblawan, Tampakan of South Cotabato, and Columbio of Sultan Kudarat.

The area has a two-billion ton deposit of copper and gold, according to feasibility studies done by the companies.

(see update here)

(John Roson)

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