Lianga, Surigao Del Sur (SDS) – With the recent Communist NPA Terrorists’ (CNTs’) brutal killings on Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the hinter-sitios of San Miguel , Surigao Del Sur, the IP communities actively tipped off CNT sightings to pre-empt further CNT killings on targeted IP leaders who are opposing them in the far-flung communities and requested for the military’s immediate presence.
Last March 19, CNTs owned the brutal killings of Datu Bernandino “Bandi” Astudillo, and Zaldy “Domingo” Ybañez at Sitio Inadan, Brgy Magroyong, San Miguel town.On April 14, they also brutally murdered CAA Wilson Behing, another unarmed CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) who is also a member of the IP in front of his family in Sitio Lamesa, Carromata, San Miguel violating their self-imposed Unilateral Ceasefire.
“We need the presence of the military in the conflict-affected areas because we need to protect the IP leaders and the community. Papatayin nila at babalikan ang mga IP communities na sumasalungat sa kanila kaya dapat matulungan kami ng mga sundalo na protektahan kami, “ Datu Jovito Silvoza, Sitio Sangay Chieftain in Libas-Sud, said.
38 households are forced then to temporarily leave their homes from Sitio Hayon and Sitio Sangay to the center of Brgy. Libas-Sud in San Miguel, while 7 families from Sitio Lagangan sought refuge in the houses of their relatives in Brgy. Caras-Anin the town of Tago but are back now in their homes with the help of the local government units.
Prior to their temporary evacuation, IP leaders have coordinated with their respective Barangay Chairmen while the barangay have coordinated with the respective Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Offices to provide for the basic needs of the evacuees and prevent CNT-linked front groups from aggravating the situation by exploiting IPs.
“We coordinated with the government regarding our evacuation because we don’t want to become victims of MAPASU and other front groups and who exploited us before and used us as a show of force against the government during the previous evacuations. The military and the government are not our enemies but the Communist NPA Terrorists. We evacuated because we want the military to go after them to put an end to their atrocities and we don’t want the CNTs to use us as human shields,” Datu Silvoza, said.
The Surigao Del Sur provincial government down to the barangays and IP councils declared the CNTs persona non-grata making the CNTs more isolated to the community and vulnerable to reports.