The regional police director vowed to look into the commotion in UCCP Haran when reportedly relatives attempted to rescue their families still holed up inside the compound.
Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Regional Office XI, said that based on their initial information, what happened was a rescue operation by family members.
Datu Guibang Apoga led other Manobos to rescue their families and relatives who allegedly want to return to their respective villages.
“So, anybody who would prevent the rescue of the IPs will be taken into custody for committing a crime,” Escobal said. “As much as possible we are implementing maximum tolerance but it’s for the greater good of the IPs.”
Escobal also dismissed reports that the group that stormed the compound included members of the Alamara, a paramilitary group organized by the Army to counter communist guerrillas.
“They are their tribal leaders who want to get their people inside the Haran,” he added.
The police officer also said they want to establish if the families inside the compound are being held against their will. If so, the organizers and the UCCP leadership will face illegal detention, child abuse, and human trafficking.
He also insisted that the Haran compound is a fake evacuation center, and the organizers needed to be stopped for committing “continuing crimes.”
In a separate interview at the sidelines of the change of command ceremony of the Eastern Mindanao Command held at Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Governor Edwin Jubahib of Davao del Norte said that most families inside the Haran are his constituents.
“Our IP brothers, led by Datu Guibang Apoga and Datu Larry, they went to Haran compound to get their people who are five years already inside the Haran,” Jubahib said.
He also called on the UCCP pastors inside the compound to allow the families to return to Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte, “so that they can return to their normal lives.”
Also in a separate interview at the area, Grace Subong, the regional director of DSWD XI, said they have already sent more than 10 social workers in the area. “Just in case to help rescue the children,” Subong said.
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