BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 22 (PIA) - Due to the relentless violence and abuses of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in the Caraga region, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) bared that some 15 Indigenous People leaders were already killed and left their families in grief.
According to NCIP Caraga Regional Director Ferdausi Saniel Cerna, the Commission has condemned at the highest level the ruthless acts of the terrorist CPP-NPA and the killing of IPs and their tribal leaders in the region.
He stressed that the withdrawal of support and the cutting of ties with the terrorist CPP-NPA by the IPs have caused the surge of attack and killing of the tribal leaders.
"In Caraga alone, I think more or less 15 tribal leaders were slain by the terrorist group because the IPs no longer give any form of support to the group," cited Cerna.
Since the start of the implementation of Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte, the IPs have shown higher trust and confidence to the government and have become more active in participating in the efforts towards addressing the insurgency problem.
The official added that the IPs are naturally peace-loving people, who just want to live a harmonious life in their respective communities.
With the help of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the NCIP director hopes that a patrol base or army detachment will be established in every IP community that is affected by the insurgency, in order to protect them from the violence and abuses caused by the CPP-NPA.
"For me, I believe establishing a patrol base or army detachment in the area would really aid in securing the safety IP community," added Cerna.
Datu Jumar Bucales, Municipal Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, who was once ambushed by the terrorist group and survived from the incident, also asked the government for protection. He expressed with high hope for more IPs to avail and benefit from the programs and services of the government.
"We asked the government to continue to help the IPs, especially in their safety and security. We also hope that whatever would be beneficial to the community would really be given to them," said Bucales. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)