A Manobo mother and her four children were reportedly rescued inside the UCCP-Haran compound at 2:15 p.m. on Friday.
Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the director of Police Regional Office XI told TIMES that the family entered Haran on Feb. 28, 2018. The mother is 44 years old while the children’s ages range from the eldest at 19 years old to the youngest at five years old.
While the police gave their names, TIMES is withholding their identities for their own protection.
According to Escobal, they received information around 4 p.m. on June 18 that an IP family is ready to leave Haran due to hunger since the start of the community quarantine in Davao Region. Escobal said he sent personnel to coordinate with the Davao City Police Office’s Intelligence Unit to facilitate the rescue of the family.
On Friday, around 1 p.m., after the final briefing at DCPO headquarters, the team proceeded to the compound to extract the family.
Escobal said that prior to the extraction, they conducted a surveillance operation and the team observed “spotters” from the compound taking photos and videos of government security forces.
Around 2:15 p.m., the operatives successfully rescued the family using a public utility jeepney. They were brought to the Regional Health Service XI for a health check-up. Medicines and vitamins were also given to them.
They were also debriefed by the Investigation and Detection Management Branch (IDMB) and the San Pedro Police Station to determine the situation of the other families in the compound. At 7:30 p.m. on the same date, the IP family was brought to the Women and Children’s Protection Desk facility so they could take a rest.
Escobal quoted the mother as saying that she could no longer endure the hardships inside the compound, especially since she has four children to think about. She added that she has other siblings still inside Haran and that she fears for their future.
On Saturday, the IP family was turned over to the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office.
“To our brother-and-sister Lumads, let us cooperate with the authorities. We in the PRO XI are ready to help you return to your respective communities along with your families,” he said. “The government has plenty of good programs for you.”
“To the management of Haran, cooperate with the government’s effort to help our IPs live a better and normal life in their respective communities. If you truly care for the welfare of IPs inside Haran, you would not allow our IP brothers and sisters to continue to stay in the situation,” he added.
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