The Ata Manobo leader Datu Lumansad B. Sibogan called on his constituents to resist the advances of the rebel New People’s Army in their communities.
“Let us not be fooled anymore,” Sibogan told the AFP-PNP press corps briefing at The Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday.
Sibogan said his Ata-Manobo constitutents in the municipality of Talaingod in Davao del Norte were greatly aggrieved by the death of Datu Banadjao Mampaundag and one of his sons.
Their deaths were attributed to 14 members of the NPA under one Commander Rommel, according to Sibogan, currently the presiding officer of the council of elders.
He said that the CPP-NPA had been using his constituents during rallies, in exchange for assistance that were never fulfilled.
He added that the NPAs had been using the name of President Duterte in deceiving them, by promising them sacks of rice and cash once they agree to be brought to Manila or Davao City.
He said the promises were never fulfilled.
He said that the lumads also do not understand why they need to go to Manila or Davao.
“Once in Manila, they are asked to stand the whole day for whatever reason,” he said. “That is not part of our tradition.”
He said the CPP-NPA have been benefitting from Lumad territory as sources of food and herbal medicine.
He said that the Ata Manobo’s were abused and their human rights were violated. He said that the CPP-NPA did not ask for permission from the council of elders to enter their territory or to fish on their riverbanks.