The Manobo Tribal Council of Elders condemned the spate of IP killings in Surigao del Sur perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) last month despite the COVID-19 crisis.
In a statement, the council filed ResolutionNo. 1 series of 2020 last May blamed the NPA and its alleged fronts, the Mapasu and Kasalo, for killings and continued harassment of the indigenous communities in their ancestral domain.
Jumar Bucales, Lianga indigenous people’s mandatory representative, urged the NPA to respect the IPRA law and the traditional culture of the Manobo tribe in the area of San Miguel, Marihatag, San Agustin and Lianga municipalities, all in Surigao del Sur.
“We condemn the killings of the New People’s Army in our ancestral domain area and call the Mapasu and Kasalo Caraga to stop manipulating the IP leaders, especially the Alcadev and TRIPFS, which are the breeding schools of the NPA,” Bucales said.
The IP representative also said that tribal leaders are being threatened if they defy the NPA and support the government.
Bucales also challenged Bayan Muna Rep. Eudemia Cullamat to help their tribe as it is obliterated by the NPA. He further called on the Commission on Human Rights to probe the killings of Lumads.
“We call on and ask President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to sincerely stop the CPP-NPA-NDF so that our communities will go back to their true tribal indigenous political structure, which was destroyed by the CPP-NPA-NDF, ” Bucales further said.
The statement was signed by Bucales and the five tribal chieftains, Diatagon Chieftain Alfredo Rivas, San Isidro chieftain Mario Mangadlao, Banahao Chieftain Garry Tejero, Manyayay Chieftain Apolonio Tejero and St. Christine Chieftain Ordanito Galdiano.
The resolution was also signed by IPMR representatives in Diatagon Istanislaw Tolentino, IPMR Manyayay Romeo Tejero, IPMR St. Christine Berio Galdiano, IPMR Banahao Nicolaste Jero, IPMR San Isidro Benjamen Alvezo