The Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) Council yesterday called on the New People’s Army and its alleged front group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa mga Sumusunod (Mapasu), to stop disrupting the construction of a government school in Sitio Simuwao (Km. 9), Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
Hawudon Jumar S. Bucales, Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, said that they received reports of harassment from residents on the planned establishment of the Department of Education-sanctioned Lumad schools.
He said the NPA and its communist fronts are using the same playbook. First, the NPA will harass civilians, then Mapasu will come in to trigger an evacuation.
“(They will) then put the blame on the military and demand for their pullout in order to delay the implementation of the government’s development projects for the IPs and recover their mass base,” Bucales said.
Last Feb. 21, the NPA allegedly harassed residents of Sitio Emerald, which wounded three civilians, including a five-year-old girl. According to the military, they want to force an evacuation and suspend the establishment of state schools that will replace Alcadev
The harassment intends to trigger evacuation to suspend the establishment of the IP DepEd schools that will replace the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) and the Tribal Filipino Program of Lianga, Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS), the Army said.
The military has accused both groups of indoctrinating young students until they eventually join the armed group.