Fake Lumad leaders backed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) gathered civilian residents of Sitio Ulayanon, Barangay Calabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on October 11 to stage yet another “surrender” ceremony.
Assisted by soldiers, these fake leaders coerced residents to surrender as members of the New People’s Army. To complete the show, they conducted a traditional peace pact, the “tampuda” to “end armed conflict” in the community.
Residents of the said sitio and nearby communities have been continuously threatened and intimidated since March 2018.
In a report by the North Central Mindanao Regional Operational Command, 16 civilians were arrested by troopers of the 8th IB and detained without charges for a week in its the battalion headquarters in Impasug-ong in August. They were later paraded as NPA “surrenderees.”
Ka Malem Mabini, spokesperson of the NPA Regional Command, mocked the 8th IB’s fake surrender program. “If all the “surrenderees” are lumped together, it would mean thousands of Red fighters from Barangay Calabugao have already surrendered.”
He called the “tampuda” conducted by AFP-backed Lumad leaders as bastardization and an affront to the Lumad culture.
Mabini said the Lumad masses of Bukidnon remain determined to fight for their rights. He exhorted them to fight back. “Do not let go of your principles. Do not be cowed, your strength lies in your unity.”