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IP recruitment by NPA declines, Datu claims

A tribal leader of the Langilan-Manobo tribe in Davao del Norte said recruitment by the New People’s Army has slowed down because the IP communities are starting to fight back.

In an interview last week at the sidelines of the arrival of eight IP delegates from the US for an international caravan, Datu Malapandaw Nestor Apas, chief of Langilan-Manobo tribe, said they noticed a slight decline in the number of recruitment among their members in the region.

He said they now have a system where tribal datus can report regularly on any attempt at indoctrination by the NPA.

“Also, each leaders will always account how many members in their communities,” he said.

However, he lamented that there are still many IP members who are living in UCCP Haran in Davao City, as well as fighting as communist guerrillas.

Apas said President Rodrigo Duterte had direct knowledge that about 60% of the NPA rebels were members of the IP community. Many heeded the call of the President to lay down their arms and surrender.

“So, many had surrendered,” he said.

According to Datu Apas, within their tribe there were 800 Lumads who surrendered and returned to the government. He also called on the other fellow tribe members to leave the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“Surrender now because your lives are in danger with the NPA group,” he further said.

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