Group: NPA kills leaders, student
THE Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders and Leaders reported that a total of 12 deaths of indigenous people (IP) who have been killed by New People’s Army (NPA) since early 2000 in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Ovu Manuvu tribe chairman Datu Joel Unad said in a phone interview with SunStar Davao that 11 who were killed are leaders from different tribes while the other was a student.
Unad said the tribal leaders were killed for not cooperating with the NPA. The tribe has its own set of rules and system; hence, the tribal leaders’ refusal to cooperate with the communist rebel group.
He said because of the tribe leaders’ refusal, the NPA has made allegations against them for committing crimes like stealing just to have a reason to
“Ang uban ana ginapatay lang nila diretso bisan wala para mahadlok ang community (The others were just being killed to scare the community),” Unad said.
Unad said former Talaing of mayor Jose Libayao was one of the victims of the NPA and killed in 2001. He is one of the 12 that was killed by members of NPAs. His wife, Bai Pilar Libayao, is the current Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in Talaingod.
“Akong bana mao na ang pinakadakong lider diri sa Talaingod hantod karon walay hustisya (My husband was the chief executive of Talaingod and up until now, there is still no justice),” Libayao said in a phone interview with Sunstar Davao yesterday.
She added the other 11 cases remain unsolved until today.
Libayao will be sending a letter to the national government that contains a list of people killed by the NPA in Talaingod.
Meanwhile, Unad said around 1,000 tribal leaders have been killed by NPA since 1980 in Mindanao. (Sunstar Philippines)