CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Higaonon indigenous people (IP) leaders across north and eastern Mindanao renewed their condemnation and rejection of the communist rebel movement on Wednesday.
A five-minute video sent to the Philippine News Agency showed a Higaonon leader reading a manifesto declaring the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and political wing National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), as enemies of their tribe.
The Higaonon leaders represent the IP communities from Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon provinces.
In the video, the unnamed tribal leader said their declaration against the communist rebel movement goes as far back as 2008 and that they are renewing it in line with the issuance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s of Executive Order 70.
EO 70 institutionalizes the “whole of nation approach” in ending local communist insurgency in the countryside.
The IP leader said the CPP-NPA has continued its harassment and violation of humanitarian law against IP members, with the rebels threatening to harm them if they refuse to join the armed struggle against the government.
The IP leader also vowed to help the government fight the communist insurgency in their communities.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)