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PIA Press Release

Rebels terrorize Moro household, lumad village

Pananag, Maasim, Sarangani (8 November) -- Heavily-armed men believed to be Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels here threatened and attacked Moro barangay official Sucarno Yusop and his family Monday (November 3) in what authorities described as desperate attack.

The 12:20 a.m. attack in which an unidentified explosive blasted the left side of Yusop's house, located beside the national highway, causing damages in the kitchen but did not injure any family member who were fast asleep.

Barangay kagawad Yusop and Angelina have five children. Yusop chairs the peace and order committee of the barangay.

Days before the attack, Yusop had been receiving threats in his cell phone for allegedly supporting the army troops posting few meters from his house.

"Luoy kaayo akong pamilya (My family is piteous)," Yusop said.

"They don't choose anymore whether you are a Christian, Muslim or lumad," he said in vernacular.

Yusop's wife, Angelina, said their eldest daughter Darrel Ann, 15, was traumatized by the attack in Maasim poblacion in August.

"But now she asks me to teach her how to use a gun and wants to be a police woman or a soldier someday," Yusop said.

A police report stated that three unidentified men who attacked Yusop's family used two motorcycles as getaway vehicles.

In the evening of the same day, 20 suspected Moro rebels attacked neighboring barangay Nomoh. Tanods and residents fired back at the attackers, leaving no casualty among the civilians.

Nomoh is a Tboli indigenous people's community.

"It's sad because, with the local government, right now we are in our rehabilitation program for the community," De Leon said.

The 73rd IB conducted medical missions in Nomoh and five adjacent barangays including Pananag last month.

Lt. Col. Edgardo de Leon, commander of Philippine Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion based in Maasim, said the rebels' small-scale guerilla moves were signs of desperation.

"This is an indication that we have succeeded in decimating their military capability and that now they splinter into smaller groups," De Leon said. (SIO-PIA XI) [top]

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