Lumad leaders seek Army help against NPA terrorists

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    FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – Lumad leaders seek the protection of the Philippine Army (PA) for their communities as they raise awareness against the exploitation and deception of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Terrorists here today, August 5.

    Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto assured the leaders that appropriate security assistance will be extended to safeguard the Lumad communities from further radicalization of the NPA Terrorists.

    One of the Lumad leaders, Biya Christine Banugan, recalled her experience last July when she received messages from her family that they are being threatened by the NPAs while they are in the United States appealing to the Filipino communities. Banugan's father was the tribal chieftain who was killed by the NPAs in 2016.

    “We are victims of deception,” said Mindanao Indigenous People Council of Elders and Leaders’ Executive Director, Datu Bawan Jacob Lanes. “For a while, akala namin kasama namin ang CPP [Communist Party of the Philippines] sa pagtulong sa pagdepensa sa ancestral domain but they are supplanting traditional leaders with revolutionary concept. Nawawala ang mga traditional leaders, pinapatay nila,” he added. Lanes together with other Indigenous Peoples (IP) leaders also reiterated that part of CPP-NPAs’ supplanting is the establishment of IP schools that “brainwashes” their youth turning them into child warriors.

    “The Philippine Army recognizes the efforts of our IP brothers and sisters to protect their communities. We are always ready to protect every Filipino, especially the Lumad communities, from the threat of the CPP-NPA-Terrorists,” said Alberto.#

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