Relatives of slain Lumad members: 'Selfies belie military claim of encounter'
By Ben Rosario / Manila Bulletin
Lumad Angel Rivas
The respective family of three slain members of Lumad community in Lianga, Surigao del Norte released on Friday, June 18, selfie photographs taken by the alleged victims while harvesting abaca hemp three days before a reported encounter with military forces that resulted to their death.
Angel Rivas, 12, her sister Leni, 28 and their friend Willy Rodriguez, 20 reportedly coordinated with members of the 3rd Special Battalion Force of the Philippine Army.
The military insisted that the incident was a legitimate encounter between its troops and alleged New People’s Army members, referring to the killing of the three Lumad members on June 15.
Relatives said the photographs showing the victims sharing light moments while harvesting abaca were posted in their respective social media accounts before the alleged encounter.