DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte told Colosas barangay chief in Paquibato district to prepare the evacuation of residents in the village to a safer area in the event the conflict between the rebels and the military escalates.
It was learned that residents of Barangay Colosas are apprehensive about their security due to the threat of an impending tribal vendetta (locally known as pangayao), initiated allegedly by members of the indigenous peoples (IP) supported by the military.
Duterte said the Visayan settlers fear for their lives with the IPs tribal vendetta.
"Nothing untoward has happened yet. Majority of the settlers in the area are apprehensive about their situation," the mayor said.
Duterte also confirmed a report about schoolchildren who no longer attend classes because of the threat of "pangayao". She now awaits the recommendation of the barangay chief for the course of action to be taken by the government in case hostilities happen.
Task Force Davao chief, Colonel Oscar Lactao, however belied reports of pangayao. He instead urged the members of the indigenous peoples in Paquibato to restrain and not to resort to pangayao to redress grievances.
"With pangayao, you are putting the law into your hands. This is not a civilized way of conflict resolution. We have the law, let the police handle complaints and file appropriate cases in court," Lactao said.
Davao City Police Director Rene Aspera, meanwhile, said the police are just waiting for orders from the City Government to intervene in the situation in Barangay Colosas.
Two soldiers including the brother of tribal leader Ruben Labawan and a civilian were killed when ambushed by members of the New People's Army (NPA) in the vicinity of Barangay Colosas on August 6.
Labawan, head of the Tribal Council for Security and member of the Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development, was wounded in his left hand but survived the ambush with his wife.
In an email to sun.Star Davao, the NPA blamed the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, particularly 1003rd infantry brigade commanding officer Brig. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario, for the resurgence of conflict in Paquibato.(Ben O. Tesiorna, Correspondent/with PR)