From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 30): Duterte calls on Army to pull out from Talaingod hotspot
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte urged government troops to pull out
from the hinterlands of Talaingod, Davao del Norte to give a semblance of
normalcy for the indigenous peoples especially those who evacuated from the
area to return to their homes.
He issued the call in an interaction with the affected communities in the presence of Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council 11and top military commanders in the area.
Duterte stressed that normalcy must be attained as soon as possible.
He said that in Talaingod, the soldiers must stay at a distance so that the evacuees can go back to their homes.
Duterte assured food and transportation to the 39 families of indigenous peoples who are returning back to Talaingod.
He also revealed that the rebels also asked him to intervene due to the evacuation of residents.
Duterte said he also prodded the rebels to also leave the hinterlands of Talaingod to ease the lives of the indigenous peoples and speed up the return to normalcy.
He said that in Paquibato District, the soldiers can stay but must avoid using schools and barangay halls as their quarters.
Duterte said it is improper for soldiers to use schools and barangay halls as their dwelling especially many houses are situated near public buildings and children and residents might be hit by the crossfire during encounters.
“Soldiers must stay at a safe distance. It is common sense,” he said.
Duterte said he will a call a dialogue between the military and the barangay chairs in Paquibato District to come up with the modalities in handling the security situation in the area.
He explained that the soldiers are still needed in Paquibato District to prevent the entry of illegal activities like mining and logging.
However, Duterte discouraged the soldiers from conducting activities without the coordination with the barangay chairs to avoid suspicion and fear among the residents.
“Stop accosting people,” he said.
Duterte said that with the ongoing conflict in the countryside, soldiers are also present whenever the rebels are around.
He said the soldiers also have the mission to protect the people.