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Peace adviser condemns murder of Lumad, blames NPA

By: Froilan Gallardo - CDN Digital | January 08,2020 - 09:04 AM

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental—Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Valdez condemned the murder of a Lumad leader in Bukidnon and blamed the New People’s Army (NPA) for the alleged atrocity.

“By and large, these attacks run counter to the cessation of hostilities declared between the Reds and government during the holiday season,” Galvez said in a statement on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Datu Sammy Diwangan, 45, an Umayamnon leader and Indigenous Peoples (IP) representative of barangay Canangaan, Cabanglasan town in Bukidnon, was killed while cutting wood in his farm last January 4, 2020.

The government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) declared a 15-day Christmas holiday ceasefire from December 23, 2019 to January 7, 2020.

Under its ceasefire terms, the NDF forbade NPA units from attacking Army, police and Cafgus during the 15-day period.

It did not, however, mention civilians or those identified as para-military units helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana, commander of the 8th Infantry Battalion, said Diwangan was with his nine-year-old son and another companion when the rebels waylaid them and killed the victim.

But the NPA has not issued any statement claiming responsibility for the murder of Diwangan.

Illana said the municipal government of Cabanglasan have formed a fact-finding team to look into the murder.

“Diwangan has been receiving death threats for helping the Army thwart the NPA expansion in the mountains of Cabanglasan,” Illana said.

Illana said they have repeated warned Diwangan not to venture out to his farm because of these threats.

He said Diwangan believed he would not be harmed by the NPA because there was an ongoing ceasefire between the government and the NDF.

Illana said the NPA has accused Diwangan as being a leader of a notorious anti-communist paramilitary group called Alamara.

Galvez also blamed the communist rebels for burning the livelihood center of the Lumads  in Barangay Panansalan in Compostela, Compostela Valley last December 30, 2019.

“Clearly, these acts of terrorism are meant to instill fear, anger and hatred in the hearts and minds of the people, particularly among our Lumad brothers and sisters, Galvez said. /bmjo

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TAGS: Bukidnon, killing, lumads, Murder, NPA

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