Soldiers killed civilians in Marawi

On May 23, 2017, Abol Amatonding, left their house in Basak, Malutlut, Marawi to go to his relatives in Binidyang, Marawi. Abol’s mother, Racma Amatonding, decided to evacuate the next day, on May 24. Racma, unaware of the whereabouts of her son, assumed he had also evacuated with their relatives. 

It was on May 25 when reports surfaced that a picture of Abol’s body was circulating in social media; the body was found in Basak, Malutlut, in the area where the family lived. Abol wore a black shirt and brown pants. Wearing black automatically aroused suspicion from the military, as their initial reports stated that members of the Maute group were wearing the same color. The body of Abol was recovered by their relatives in Binidyang, but the family was not able to bury their son because they could not afford the trip. Abol’s family is in an evacuation center in Baloi, Lanao del Norte. 

On May 24, 2017, the body of Ramos Malik, 35, was found at the Banggolo bridge in Marawi. His family – father Mangod Malik, 63; siblings Jabbar Malik, 30, Aida Malik, 25, Esnairah Malik, 20, and Montiya Malik, 10 – evacuated on May 26, 2017 from their residence in Brgy. Cameri, Marinaut, Marawi. 

According to Mangod, Ramos’ father, he and his family were separated during the chaos of the evacuation. Mangod and his two children went to Saguiran evacuation center in Lanao del Sur while his wife was in Bubong, Amayra. Mangod assumed that Ramos was with his other siblings. It was only days later when they learned from their neighbors that Ramos was arrested by the military, as evidenced by a footage from a local media outlet. The victim was wearing black at that time. They later received confirmation that Ramos was already dead, his body found on a bridge. The family received word from other families still inside Marawi that Ramos’ body was brought to Baloi. Ramos Malik was mentally disabled, but was helping his family financially by collecting scraps off the streets and selling them.

On May 26, 2017, the family of Tarhata Sultan Batalo, 42, evacuated from Marawi’s provincial capitol. Her son, Sohaib Batalo, 20, was a criminology student and was always seen accompanying his father, Mohammad Ali Duro Sultan, a member of the Provincial Security Forces (PSF) in Marawi. Sohaib had 7 other siblings - Najebfa, 22, Sohailili, 18, Najeb, 16, Naj Leah, 15, Amal Haya, 14, Lanih Boy and Princess Raifa, both 12. Sohaib was left in a bridge in Brgy. Mapandi because there was no longer any space in the vehicle they were using. The family left their son with neighbors, assured that he would not be suspected as a member of the Maute group because he was known as the son of a PSF member. 

According to witnesses, Sohaib arrived in the capitol to look for his father at around May 26, but left when he found out that Mohammad Sultan was not there. The neighbors who took Sohaib were also forced to evacuate, and convinced him to squeeze himself in the car. The 20-year-old refused, and asked the family to go ahead. He was reportedly accosted by the police in a bridge in Mapandi, which later turned him over to the Special Action Forces (SAF). A picture of Sohaib in the custody of the police surfaced in social media, a post that reached his family. On May 31, 2017, the dead body of Sohaib was found, with his hands still tied. 

Abol Amatonding, Ramos Malik, and Sohaib Batalo were among the 46 victims of extrajudicial killings in Mindanao documented by Karapatan during the one-year implementation of Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao. 

#NoToMartialLaw #ResistDuterTyranny