President Rodrigo R. Duterte offered a PHP20,000 bounty for the head of every member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who continue to harass the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).
This was the President’s reply when asked about the killing and continued threats on IP leaders who do not support the cause of the communist groups.
Duterte bared in a press conference on Friday night at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City that he wants the IPs to be trained as Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) for them to be able to fight against the rebels.
“Go out and hunt those who killed your comrades,” he said.
He said the IP would be trained for three months, after which they would be given firearms to use in fighting the rebels.
“I’ll put a reward to those lumads (IP) who will become Cafgu, one NPA you will kill I’ll pay you. You want money, I give you money, I’ll make P20,000 per head,” he said.
Anyway, he said the government has money. However, in the meantime, the President advised the lumads who are being harassed by the NPA to evacuate temporarily to areas near the military camps or other places.
The Eastern Mindanao Command has reported the death of Datu Banadjao Mampaundag and his son Jhonard inside their home in Sitio Igang, Barangay Palma Gil in the town of Talaingod, Davao del Norte on February 4.
The rebels allegedly strafed the house of Mampaundag using a vehicle to appear they were soldiers.
Aside from killing the victims, the rebels also tried to ambush the responding ambulance to rescue them.
On February 9, the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of the Mamanwa Tribe in Alegria, Surigao del Norte identified as Dakula Guillermo Tiambon was shot dead in front of his family in their farm at Sitio Palo 10, Brgy Camp Edward, Alegria, Surigao del Norte on Friday afternoon.
According to the victim’s daughter, her father received death threats from the NPA for being an active advocate of peace and development.
On February 8, lumad leaders in Talaingod launched a protest seeking justice for the killing of the Mampaundags.
Last January 31 to February 1, lumad leaders from four regions in Mindanao convened in Davao City upon the initiative of the President to hear their concerns.
The two pressing issues raised by the lumads were on their security and lack of economic opportunities to uplift their lives. (Armando Fenequito Jr/PNA)