A LUMAD (Indigenous people) leader was shot dead by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) on Tuesday, September 5, at Barangay Comagascas, Cabadbaran City.

According to the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), Datu Rostico Sandag Porogoy, tribal chieftain of Santiago municipality, Agusan del Norte, was onboard his motorcycle when at least three men on motorcycle armed with a caliber .45 pistols waylaid him at 7:40 a.m.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, 4ID spokesperson, said Porogoy was supposed to visit his people in Pangaylan, a Manobo community in Santiago town, when he was shot twice on his back and another on his right shoulder which caused his untimely demise.

The military said Porogoy was a staunch peace advocate in Caraga region, and had strongly denounced NPA atrocities as led his tribe in supporting government programs for peace and development.

Lieutenant Colonel Glen Aynera, commanding officer of the 29th Infantry Battallion, decries the "terroristic act and brutality of the NPA rebels."

“The attack on Datu Porogoy is a clear and undeniable proof of the NPA’s human rights atrocities in Lumad communities. This is also a solid proof of the NPA’s continuing campaign to take control of our Lumads and anyone who gets in their way is killed in the process.” Aynera said.

Major General Ronald Villanueva, 4ID Commander, is urging the Filipino Nation to join in shout for justice and urge the Karapatan and other organizations who are calling for the end of Lumad killings to also condemn the dastardly act and denounce the NPA’s human rights violations.

“The 4th Infantry Division joins all Tribal Communities and the peace-loving people in condemning the NPA for killing Datu Rostico Sandag Porogoy. Let not Datu Porogoy's death be the end of his advocacy, but rather an inspiration to others to pursue peace and development," he said.

"We sympathize with his family, relatives, friends, loved ones, and constituents. The AFP will intensify operations to go after the perpetrators of this cowardly attack and at the same time ensure that Lumad tribesmen loyal to Datu Porogoy will not conduct revenge killings as the attack could trigger a new wave of violence among Lumad factions. This is unfortunate because the AFP, PNP and our LGUs have been working hard to de-escalate the situation," Villanueva added.