Duterte’s war against Lumad intensifies in Southern Mindanao, NPA launches counter-attacks

Amid his mercenary offer of “silver” and dubious development, wooing and dining so-called surrendered persons and vulgar slurs against women revolutionaries, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has intensified his all-out war against indigenous peoples as the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP deployed its foot soldiers and excess war materiel from Marawi City siege in Southern Mindanao.

The dictator has made good his promise to attempt to obliterate dissent, not by winning against the NPA but by foisting superior combat force in remote indigenous people’s villages in the region. Placed under martial rule are the IP populated barangays of Talaingod, Davao del Norte; Paquibato, Marilog, Baguio and Toril districts in Davao City; Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela and Maragusan towns of Compostela Valley; Magpet and Arakan in North Cotabato; and Boston, Cateel, Tarragona and Caraga towns of Davao Oriental.

Since January, seventeen (17) Army battalions commanded over 300 military detachments and 14 battalion and 4 brigade headquarters all over the region. All Army units bear their standard procedure: recruitment of CAFGU paramilitary forces and agitating Lumad to wage pangayaw; forcing civilians to “surrender”; threats of extra-judicial killings, forced evacuations, warning and harassment of Lumad leaders; threats of bombing, food blockade, intimidation of motorcycle drivers and vilification of communities as NPA supporters.

Affected in this combat-psywar campaign are the Manobo villages and sub-villages in Talaingod such as Tibi-tibi, Cabadiangan, Paiton, Mibolo, Palma Gil, Sto. Niño, Pantaron, Minopal, Nasilaban, Mirato, Nabunturan, Saso, Km. 18, Opaw, Igang, JBL, Dulyan, Km. 14, Km. 25, Km. 31 and Tibukag. In Paquibato, Davao City: the Matigsalog Lumad barangays of Colosas, Malabog, Salapawan, Mapula, Tapak and other barangays of Lumiad, Paquibato proper, Paradise Embak, and Pandaitan; in Marilog District: IP barangays of Salumay, Marilog, Gumitan, Tambobong, Malamba and the mixed populations of Magsaysay, Suwawan, Salaysay and Tamugan; in Toril District, barangays Tungkalan and Barakayo; in Baguio District, in Tamayong and Carmen.

In Davao Oriental, the Mandaya villages in Cateel: Taytayan, Malibago, Maglahos, Aliwagwag and Mainit; Brgy. Tubaon in Tarragona and of the Dibabawons in Brgy. Simolao in Boston; and in Compostela Valley, in Compostela barangays of Panansalan and Ngan, and of the Mansakas of Brgy. Langgawisan and Lahi in Maragusan where at least 1,000 residents were forced by the military to evacuate following an NPA sighting on February 5.

In the IP communities of Caraga town, the Army’s 67th IB and the paramilitary MANADU forces threatened to bomb and massacre 100 Mandaya families in Sitio Catagbakan and Sitio Panlalaisan, Brgy. Pichon, thus forcing them to leave their homes and farms and stay at the village center starting last February 12.

In North Cotabato, the newly-deployed 15th IB in Arakan town has been terrorizing the Manobo communities of Brgy. Tumanding, Malibatuan, Maria Caridad and Cabalantian, issuing ultimatums for leaders of Lumad organizations to “surrender.” The 39th IB meanwhile has not let-up its combat-psywar operations in the Bagobo communities in Brgy. Tiko, Brgy. Mahongcog and Temporan in Magpet town.

Under pretext of civilian cover, Special Operations Group Bagani Long Range Platoon Leader Ramon Ali was elected as the National Indigenous People’s Council for Peace and Development (NIPCPD) chairperson during the recent February summit to complement the military’s all out war with deception and justification.

The so-called NIPCPD is a rehashed national version of the Mindanao IP Council for Peace and Development chaired by Joel Unad, a notorious tribal dealer responsible for the landgrabbing of ancestral domain in Marilog, Baguio and Toril districts in Davao City.
Amid the all-out war against indigenous people and the revolutionary movement, the NPA responded by abiding by guerilla warfare tactics of concentration, launching attritive and annihilative actions against the enemy and dispersal to evade concentrated attacks.

As the military struck terror in 20 communities in Talaingod, the NPA Guerilla Front 56 launched a demolition operation, killing 5 members of the 3rd IB in Sitio Balaas, Brgy. Gumitan, Marilog district in Davao City on February 9 at 7:46 am. On February 4 at 7am, Red fighters belonging to the NPA Guerilla Front 55 detonated explosives against a PNP patrol car, killing 2 police personnel in Sitio Opaw, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod. On that same day, operatives of the NPA Sub-Regional Command imposed capital punishment against notorious CAFGU leader and Alamara recruiter Banadjao Mampaundag and his son Jhonard, also a member of the CAFGU.

On January 25, in response to militarization of 9 barangays in Paquibato district, the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion triggered command detonated explosives against the 16th IB in Brgy. Mapula, Paquibato district, killing 1st Lt. Jarren Jay Relota, commanding officer of the unit’s Bravo Company, and wounding two others. Earlier, Red forces harassed a platoon of the16th IB in Brgy. Lumiad, wounding 2 fascist troops.
With his war against the Lumad, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is clearly exposed as a desperate coward capable only of victimizing the lowly and unarmed, while masquerading as a loud and foul-mouthed dictator.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez, Spokesperson
NPA-Southern Mindanao
19 February 2018

Source: https://www.philippinerevolution.info/statements/20180219-dutertes-war-against-lumad-intensifies-in-southern-mindanao-npa-launches-counter-attacks

C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.