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PIA Press Release

Lumads seek Army protection vs NPA

Camp Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City (8 September) -- A group of Lumads sought the protection of authorities in what they call widespread killings of Lumad leaders in Davao Region by local terrorists (NPA).

Tribal leader Datu Jerson Buntas Nadela and tribal elder Datu Rodolfo Andresan of the Unified Tribal Council of Elders (UTCE) representing Dibabawon, Mandaya, Manobo and Manguangan tribes in Monkayo, Compostella Valley province trooped the 10th Infantry Division Headquarters 1pm Tuesday October 6, 2009 seeking help in light of the series of killings perpetrated by terrorists targeting Lumads who are not cooperating with the lawless group.

Nadela, a Deputy Environment and Natural Resources Officer (DENRO) lamented that a certain alyas Adan of the of the local terrorist group operating in Monkayo threatened to kill him due to the former's confiscation of illegal logs protected by the NPA. Nadela said "Aduna sila'y tres pesos kada board feet sa mga illegal logs. Nasuko sila sa amoa kay daghan naman mi gipangkumpiska.(They collect three pesos per board feet on illegal logs. They got angry because we confiscated a lot of these.)"

Fearing for the lives and the future of his fellow Lumads and being one of the several individuals in his tribe to afford education, Nadela said he was driven by his desire to protect his people from the excesses and deception of the NPA.

Andresan on the other hand told authorities that his relative Leling Andresan also a DENRO belonging to the Mandaya tribe was murdered by the NPA two months ago for not giving-in to the terrorists' demand to issue cutting permit to the bandits. Andresan further said that in 2004 another Mandaya DENRO Datu Pascual was killed by the same group due to his expose' on the protection racket of the NPA on illegal logging.

The duo said the deputation order was issued to by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer to Lumad volunteers to take care of the environment and act as watchmen against illegal logs.

A few days ago, local terrorists under Leoncio Pitao admitted slaying Datu Amora Dagsil, another lumad in Paquibato Distict saying the datu is anti-revolutionary. (10th ID) [top]

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