Manobo tribesmen denounce rebel group’s atrocities, abuses

A GROUP of Manobo tribesmen from Davao have decried the alleged abuses and atrocities they suffered from the hands of some members of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in their area.

The group, led by Datu James Binayao of the Manobo Talaandig Tribe and Dau Joel Dahusay of the Matig Talomo Manobo Tribe, shared their ordeal with the rebel group during a forum hosted by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) inside the Freeport recently.

The Indigenous People (IP) groups from Davao Del Norte, Davao City, and other parts of Mindanao claimed they were used by the armed groups to get funds from various international organizations.

Colonel Gerardo Zamudio Jr., assistant chief of Air Staff for Civil Military Operations (CMO), said leaders of different Indigenous People (IP) groups in Mindanao, who had experienced atrocities and violation of human rights, were invited during the forum dubbed “Usaping Pangkapayapaan Usaping Pangkaunlaran Padayon PAF.”

“Meron tayong mga IP leaders na galing sa iba’t-ibang communities sa Mindanao na naka-experience ng atrocities yung mga violations ng mga New People’s Army sa kanilang community, kung papaano sila pinagsamantalahan. Ginamit yung kanilang kahinaan, pinatay, ginamit yung mga pangangailangan nila para makakuha sila ng funds mula sa ibang bansa,” Zamudio added.

The IPs from Mindanao were able to document at least 17 incidents of atrocities, according to the PAF official.

The group went to different organizations in America and Europe where they revealed their experience.

“Nagsikap silang pumunta sa ibang bansa, sa United Nations, pumunta sila doon sa Estados Unidos atsaka sa Europe. Pinresent nila itong atrocities na ito, kasama doon yung paggamit nila sa kanilang community para mag generate ng funds na iyon na hindi naman pala magagamit sa kanilang community,” Zamudio said.

He claimed that the communist rebels deceived the IPs by using several learning centers in Salugpungan, Davao Del Norte to recruit young warriors.

“Very recently, pina-stop ito ng Department of Education (DepEd) kasi yung Salugpungan School pala ay ginagamit na center ng NPA para makapag-recruit ng mga armado. At kung hindi man armado, the rest ay gagawin nilang mga nagsisigaw sa kalsada yung kanilang mga demonstrators,” Zamudio.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio recently called for the immediate closure of 11 tribal schools operated by the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Inc. (STICLCI) in the city.

Duterte asked the DepEd to terminate Salugpungan’s permit to operate.

The mayor issued the statement after City Council Pamela Morata called for a probe on reports that Salugpungan schools are used as recruitment venues for CPP-NPA.


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