Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mindanao tribal leaders to settle kidnapping incident using customary laws


Tribal members of the Langilan Manobo tribe perform a traditional dance in their hinterland community in Kapalong town, Davao del Norte. Using threats and intimidation, the CPP-NPA-NDF hauled members of the tribe to UCCP Compound in Davao City where they also found some of their relatives from Sitio Inayaman in San Fernando, Bukidnon. (5CRG Photo)


SAN FERNANDO, Bukidnon— The tribal leaders of the hinterland community here have requested the government authorities to allow the Tribal Council resolve the hostage-taking incident that transpired here.

During a press conference that was facilitated by the local government and the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the municipal hall 11:00am today, Jose Baon, the village chief of Bgy San Jose asked the military to let the different Manobo tribes solve the problem.

“The military must not intervene as of now. We want to solve the disputes using our customary laws wherein tribal leaders will settle the problem caused by the abduction of the 4 members,” said Baon.

He said that he has not received any information as to the latest whereabouts of the kidnap victims  including Danilo Angkomog, Jovanie Angkomog, Datu Kalumpot Dalun and Datu Nanding Dungutan.





The victims were the principal witnesses of the human trafficking case that was filed against the orchestrators of human trafficking incident wherein at least 1, 200 people ended up being detainees inside the UCCP Haran Compound in Davao City.

Danilo Angkomog is the brother of Tata Angkomog-Lundia who killed herself in May 2015 weeks after the death of her husband Lolong, one of the detainees who were locked up inside the UCCP compound for months.

Danilo was the one who adopted the four children of his sister after her death. He was one of the faces of the complainants that can be seen in the Youtube documentary “Mourning of Mornings”.

Danilo Angkomog, 45, of Inayaman village, San Jose, San Fernando, Bukidnon is one of the  four tribal members who were abducted by the New People's Army on August 1, 2015. He signed a complaint affidavit narrating the deceptive tactics used by the CPP-NPA-NDF in luring them to move towards UCCP Haran Compound in Davao City early this year.



Jimmy Lacubay, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) for San Jose village has expressed his concern about the impact of possible rescue operations by members of the security forces.

“Many people in our community are scared that the New People’s Army might take drastic actions against the victims if the soldiers will launch a manhunt operations against the perpetrators. We would like to solve the problem in our level first,” he said.

It can be recalled that the tribal leader of the Langilan-Manobo Tribe of Kapalong, Datu Nestor Apas in an interview said that they are expecting the NPAs to release the kidnapped victims yesterday.

In a separate interview that was held in Davao City, Datu Nestor Apas, a Tribal Council members from Kapalong town said that he received some information about the NPA’s demands.

“The New People’s Army sent a message to us, demanding the withdrawal of the Human Trafficking cases filed against PASAKA, KARAPATAN, BAYAN and other non-governmental organizations which are involved in the induced evacuation of people from upland communities,” said Apas.

“Our Bagani (tribal warrior) is now handling the problem concerning the kidnap victims using our own customary laws that are respected by the indigenous people,” he added.

During his exit briefing at the Operations Center of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center (NDRRMC) on July 30, 2015, Dr. Chaloka Beyani said that the indigenous people were manipulated. 

This is the summary of his statement:

“When we asked them about the circumstances in which they left their areas to go to that location, they say that they were at risk of forced recruitment into Alamara and their movement to that area was in protest in relation to the presence of Alamara and military activities.  So they wanted to make a point that this is what is happening. But having been there for some time, I think they got manipulated. Their situation is now vulnerable. I think it is of utmost importance that you send some mutual agents that act as… and do negotiations with them, reach an understanding with them.  And we believe that solutions can actually be reached in that way, in a way that meets everyone’s expectations. But again, we’re quite clear that neither the AFP nor the PNP has responsibility primarily for what happened."