Lumads of Talaingod conducted peace rally

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Talaingod, Davao del Norte – Lumad victims of CPP-NPA-NDF exploitation and propaganda subjected themselves to a three-day PEACE BUILDING SEMINAR with the theme “Kalinaw atong Kab-oton, Panaghiusa atong buhaton” which was initiated by the 56th Infantry (TATAG) Battalion under the leadership of LTC NORMAN E VALDEZ INF (GSC) PA, Battalion Commander, held at Tribal Hall, Sitio JBL, Brgy Sto Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte from 18 to 20 July 2019.

The activity aimed to assist, guide and prepare the participants in their transition back to mainstream society.

In his speech during the opening of the seminar, LTC Valdez said, “Ang pagpapahalaga naming mga sundalo sa mga lumad ay sinsero sapagkat ang pag-galang namin sa inyong kultura at pagbibigay namin ng respeto sa inyo ay may pagkukusa sa aming mga puso. Nangangako kami na kasama ang kasundaluhan ng 56IB at ang buong Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas na hindi kami magsasawang tumulong sa inyo (lumad) katulad ng pagmamahal ninyo sa amin na tunay nyong sundalo”.

The success of the activity was attributed by the cooperation and partnership of various stakeholders from the local and national government units and agencies (NCIP, DepEd, PNP, PENRO, DAR, Religious Sector, DILG, DTI, TESDA, PSWD, 10CMO and 5CRG). The series of lectures and workshops made the participants learn the sincerity of the government in helping them to prosper and attain peace in their everyday living.

During the event, the participants realized how the communist terrorist groups exploited the tribes and that caused them to initiate a peace rally to condemn the enemy atrocities and to seek justice for their affected families.

The activity was concluded by a Peace Rally. Bae Pilar Libayao, IPMR and Datu Lumansad Sibogan, Tribal Chieftain both of Talaingod and Datu Guibang Apoga, the Legendary Founder of Salugpungan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon joined the rallyists to condemn the CPP-NPA.

Hon Jonnie A Libayao, the Mayor of Talaingod, supported the group by giving his message “Wala akong ibang hangad para sa inyo (lumad), dahil ako ay isa rin na katulad ninyo na naghahangad ng kapayapaan para sa ating tribo. Ang Kapayapaan ay makakamtan natin kung tayo ay magkakaisa at tutulong sugpuin ang mga mapagsamantalang mga komunistang NPA kabalikat ang kasundaluhan na walang sawang nagmamalasakit sa atin para makamtan ang tunay na kapayapaan sa Bayan ng Talaingod.

The event was highlighted by the unveiling of Resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA as Persona Non Grata by the three barangays namely Brgy Santo Niño, Brgy Palma Gil, and Brgy Dagohoy of Talaingod, DDN.The declarations banned the CPP-NPA-NDF to enter their barangays.

In his statement, COL ALEXIS NOEL BRAVO, Deputy Commander 1003rd Brigade, 10ID, PA also said “Napakasaya ko, dahil dati nagtatanong lang ako kung may katapusan pa ba itong mga mapagsamantalang gawain ng komunistang NPA, ngayon masasabi ko’ng posible dahil ipinapakita ninyo (lumad) na kayo mismo ang nagtatakwil sa kanila (NPA). Nandito kami para lalo kayong maliwanagan at maging kaagapay ninyo sa pagkamit ng tunay na kapayapaan at upang maibalik ang matiwasay na komunidad na karapat-dapat para sa inyo”. (Malipayon nako karon, kay sa una nagapangutana lang ko kung naa ba kaha’y katapusan ang pagsasamantala sa mga komunistang NPA. Karon nakita na nako nga posible nga mahunong).

The participants of the peace rally accounted to more or less 200, pledged to support the government in attaining peace especially in the lumad communities of Talaingod.