From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 11): AFP does not support IP armed groups
The military vehemently denied the claim of progressive groups that it is supporting the Alamara, allegedly an anti-communist group of the indigenous peoples.
Major General Rafael Valencia, commander of the 10th Infantry Battalion told reporters at the Biz Talk at Big 8 Hotel press briefing that the military supports primarily the indigenous peoples who are members of the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).
He stressed that these men are controlled by the Philippine Army through the cadres up to the chain of command.
Valencia said the lumad ceased to become a member of any group once he becomes a member of the civilian active auxiliary, where he works in a detachment and takes orders from his higher ups.
He said before an IP member becomes a militia, he works as the triber’s warrior or bagani.
“Once he becomes a civilian active auxiliary, he ceases to be a bagani and works with the armed forces.
Valencia stressed the military does not know about the Alamara group which allegedly moves on its own.
He said the military would even work for the disbandment of this group especially if they are armed, once we get the information.
Valencia also welcomed the call for the soldiers to leave Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
He said there are places in the region where the soldiers are more welcome and needed by the people.
“We are willing to pull out, especially if the local government would require us to leave the place,” Valencia said.
However, he stressed that before leaving Talaingod, other sectors must be consulted to avoid accusing the soldiers of abandonment of assignment.
Valencia said they will pull out of the area if it is the desire of the majority of the people in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.