AFP chief appeals to netizens to see whole picture on lumad killings

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Davao City (CNN Philippines) — Gen. Hernando Iriberri, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, appealed to netizens not to immediately jump into conclusion that the military is behind the lumad killings in Mindanao.

In an interview during the 9th anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City Thursday (September 17), Iriberri said that netizens should learn how to discern the truth.

He said that there is no truth to accusations hurled against the military that they are targeting lumads in their insurgency drive.

For days now, the hashtag #stoplumadkillings has been going viral on social media with various personalities using it as a plea to the government to stop the killings of lumads.

The latest incident was on September 1, when three lumads were killed by alleged paramilitary group members in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. The group responsible was identified as the Magahat Bagani Forces.

The military, however, denied that the Magahat are militiamen. They said that Magahat are indigenous warriors that serve as protectors of the community.

The military said that the conflict happened because of the presence of the New People's Army in the area.