Army blames NPA for killing of lumad leader
DAVAO CITY – The military on Friday blamed anew communist rebels for Wednesday’s killing of another lumad leader in Southern Mindanao region.
Lt. Col. Gilbert Ombos, 60th Infantry Battalion commander, said Datu Laurelio Tilacan was gunned down by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as he was heading to his farm in Bollukan village in Laak town, Compostela Valley province.
Ombos said the 43-year-old lumad leader was with his 15-year-old son on his way to his farm, some 500 meters from his house, when armed men believed to be members of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Company (PBC) 4 and Section Committee 3 appeared and opened fire on him around 8 a.m.
Tilacan died there and then but his son was unharmed, Ombos said.
Tilacan, an Ata-Manobo, was the latest leader of his tribe to be killed by alleged NPA rebels in Southern Mindanao.
Last February, communist insurgents also murdered Ata-Manobo chieftain Datu Banadjao Mampaundang and his son, Jhonard, in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
On December 19, Datu Benandao Maogan was also killed outside his house in Barangay Gupitan in Kapalong town.
Ombos believed the murders were due to the IP leaders’ refusal to cooperate with, and allow the NPA in their communities.