MANILA, Philippines – At least 17 families of a lumad tribe in Marilog District in Davao City were evacuated after receiving threats from New People’s Army allegedly eyeing the tribe’s village as the site for the celebration of the upcoming anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in December, the military said.
Quoting Datu Tresio Lumuyok, tribal chieftain of Matigsalog tribe, said residents have abandoned their houses in Purok 26, Sitio (sub-village) Alon, Malabog village and sought refuge in Marilog village since November 6, a statement from the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said.
Lumuyok led his people in search for a safe place after Leoncio Pitao, head of NPAs operating in the hinterlands of Paquibato, reportedly threatened and forced them to take part in rallies in protest to the presence of government troops.
He added that residents were suspected as military informants after several encounters transpired in the area.
The tribal chieftain added that Pitao was planning to make their village the venue for the 44th year of CPP on December 27.
Datu Buaya Ansaud welcomed the evacuees in his village in sitio Malikongkong as Davao City Social Services and Development Office had been providing for their needs in cooperation with the Army’s 84th Infantry Battalion.