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Tribe, AFP sign usufruct deal on ancestral lands

The Ata-Manobo tribe has authorized the military to use its 41.75 hectares of the ancestral domain in Malabog as a model site for development.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the usufruct signing was conducted at the headquarters of Eastern Mindanao Command in Panacan, Davao City.

The parcel is intended for the use of AFP in pursuing and sustaining peace in the hinterlands of Davao City for the benefit of the indigenous community.

The usufruct was signed by five tribal leaders of Paquibato District and Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and witnessed by Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., MGen Reuben Basiao of the 10th Infantry Division, Atty. Roger Baay of Peace 911, and Jessilito Areja, the Malabog barangay captain.

“After establishing the camp, number two we could use the land as sample how to organized the people in Paquibato and make their livelihood,” Santos said.

He also visited the soldiers to boost their morale and also received a briefing on the current fight against COVID-19. Santos was received by the division, brigade, and battalion commanders.

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