Another Lumad leader 'shot to death' in Surigao del Norte

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A 58-year-old leader of the Mamanwa tribe in Surigao del Norte was "shot to death" in front of his family, the military said in a report.

Dakula Guillermo Tiambong was killed by suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Sitio Palo 10, Barangay Camp Edward, Alegria in Surigao del Norte Friday afternoon, February 9.

"(He) was shot to death in front of his family while tending his farm in the mountains," Major Ezra Balagtey, public affairs officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), said in a statement late Friday night.

Tiambong was the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of the Mamanwa tribe in Alegria, Surigao del Norte.

This is the second time the military reported that a participant of a Lumad gathering at the Eastmincom's headquarters in Davao City was killed. Datu Banandjao Mampaudag was killed inside his house in Talaingod in Davao del Norte along with son Jhonard Mampaundag on February 4.

Previously at the Eastmincom gathering, President Rodrigo Duterte had told leaders to prepare to flee their communities and relocate to shelters to be built by the government.

The Lumad father and son's death triggered their tribal leaders to warn the NPA that if guerilla fighters continue to take lives, they are likely to retaliate through a pangayaw – or tribal war.

On Friday night, Duterte said Lumad caught in fighting between troops and communist rebels could "just live near the camps of the military."

"Or if they want, if they are well trained enough, give me about 3 months, I will train them as CAFGU and give them firearms and go out and hunt for those who killed their comrades," the President added.

Duterte, who might not have been briefed on Tiambong's death at the time, also said that if Lumad were to kill one NPA member, he would pay them P20,000 per kill. –