DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A Lumad father and his son were “shot to death” early Sunday morning, February 4, inside their house in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the military said.
The victims were identified as Datu Banadjao Mampaundag, and his son, Jhonard Mampaundag, according to Major Ezra Balagtey, public affairs officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).
Balagtey said the two were shot at their residence at Sitio Igang, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod, at around 4 am by unidentified men who posed as government troops.
“Unidentified Tagalog-speaking NPA Terrorists posing as soldiers entered their house and murdered the two tribal leaders,” Balagtey said in a report sent to the media.
Efforts to save the lives of the two went to naught, the officer said, as medical personnel were stopped “when they heard an IED explosion.”
“NPAs are still in the area conducting ambush position and possible IED attacks on responding troops,” he said.
The Mampaundags had just been trained in December 2017 as active auxiliaries of the military to participate in counter-insurgency operations.
Few days ago, Banadjao, according to Balagtey, was one of those leaders who participated a gathering of Lumad in Davao City, where President Rodrigo Duterte told them to prepare to relocate from their communities to temporary shelters.
At the gathering which took place at the Eastmincom headquarters, Duterte promised them of temporary shelters which the government will build in the same fashion as those for evacuees from Marawi City.
“It’s sad that the President gave them hope in their concerns the NPA end it by killing them,” Balagtey told Rappler.
The Davao del Norte town is home of the Talaingod Manobos, who some of them organized to fight against plywood manufacturer Alcantara and Sons (Alsons) decades ago.
In the 1990s, their leaders led a tribal war, which later prompted the government to deploy troops.
The town’s first mayor, Jose Libayao, a former company guard for Alsons, was killed by the NPA in 2001. – Rappler.com