Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Caraga IPs slam Agusan Sur tribal leader’s murder

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 7, 2020): Caraga IPs slam Agusan Sur tribal leader’s murder (By Alexander Lopez)

CONDEMNED. National Commission on Indigenous People Caraga director Ferdausi Cerna says he is deeply hurt by the killing of tribal leader Datu Bontola Tinaghao Mansinugdan in Kinabonglohan Creek, Barangay Kinamaybay, Esperanza town in Agusan del Sur on Jan. 1, 2020. Cerna denounced the New People’s Army in the area for Datu Bontola's killing. (PNA photo by Alexander Lopez)

The National Commission on Indigenous People in Caraga Region (NCIP-13) condemned on Tuesday the killing of a tribal leader in Agusan del Sur.

NCIP-13 director Ferdausi Cerna described the killing of Datu Bontola Tinaghao Mansinugdan as "ruthless and cruel," saying he believes it was done by the communists New People’s Army (NPA).

“We condemn the killing of Datu Bontola in the highest term. It is sad to note that he was killed in the midst of the ceasefire between the government and the NPA,” Cerna told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The local police in the Agusan del Sur town of Esperanza said Datu Bontola, 42, was killed on Jan. 1, 2020 at Kinabonglohan Creek, Barangay Kinamaybay.

Datu Bontola, a widower, was a prominent Higaonon tribal leader in Agusan del Sur.

Police said the victim was with his 11-year-old son hunting frogs in the creek when the armed men, believed to be NPA rebels, arrived and shot him to death.

Cerna said based on the information he gathered, the IP leader bore a gunshot in the head.

He added that the IP leader was killed in the presence of his 11-year old son, who was unharmed.

“I can’t imagine what the perpetrators had done to Datu Bontolan and his son,” Cerna said.

“Government troopers are in their camps while the truce was in effect but the NPA continued their operations and the killing of IP leaders,” Cerna said.

He also criticized the NPA for its "lack of respect and regard to the lives" of the IPs in the region.

“Is the ceasefire not applicable to the IP? Why the NPA, in the middle of the truce, continue their operations in IP villages and kill their leaders?” Cerna said.

He added that his office is now contacting the other leaders in the community of Datu Bontola to check the situation of his son.

“That was a very traumatic experience for his son. He was only 11 years of age,” Cerna said.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.