MANILA, Philippines – A body found Wednesday in a rice field in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao province has been identified as a teenager who was allegedly a member of the Civilian Volunteer Organization (CVO) or private army of the Ampatuans.
The body of 16-year-old Jamidin Galumpa, a farmer and resident of Mamasapano town, was identified by his parents, said Lt. Col. Michael Samson, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command.
He is the first casualty after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo imposed and lifted martial law in Maguindanao following the November 23 massacre of 57 innocent civilians in the country’s worst election-related killings.
Authorities believe Galumpa was with a group of armed men who fired at security forces who were unearthing an arms cache near the mansion of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. last Monday.
The Shariff Aguak police said Marian Galumpa, the boy’s mother, reported that her son was missing last December 12. She said she did not know how the boy ended up in the company of armed men, police added.