48 Manobo families flee homes in Talacogon, Agusan Sur


Forty-eight (48) Manobo families from Purok 8, Brgy. Zillovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur were forced to flee from their homes on August 4 after they were subjected to hamletting by elements of the 26th IB PA since July 11.

The families—with a total of 248 individuals, including children—walked to the barangay hall, some 14 kilometers away from their community to seek refuge under the local government unit.

Julieto Otacan, a member of the Kahugpungan sa Lumadnong Organisasyon sa Caraga (KASALO), an indigenous peoples’ organization, reported that the military, without the expressed consent of the Lumad community or their leaders, have been in their area for more than two consecutive weeks now. The military had set up camp amongst the populated area of the ancestral domain, with others even intruding in some of the homes of the locals.

Implementing the Community Organizing for Peace and Development Program, the military allegedly accused this Manobo community as supporters of the New People’s Army without any basis or justification whatsoever. Curfew hours were strictly imposed and the movements of the locals were closely monitored and controlled by the said military elements in their own ancestral domain. They were not even allowed to work in their farms.

This highly militarized situation left the Lumad with no choice but to flee from their homes to save themselves from further threat and harassment from the aforesaid military unit.

Presently, the families are staying inside the public gymnasium of Zillovia, with just a few household essentials. Many require immediate medical attention, especially the children.

On August 5, 2016, the Manobo tribal leaders met with Ernie Napao, the Barangay Captain of Zillovia and raised their concerns to the latter—foremost of which was the immediate pull-out of the military men from their area so they can go back to their homes in the soonest possible time. Allegedly, the barangay captain presented no concrete solution to their situation, and in fact, warned them that they would have to leave the gym very soon in order to make way for the annual basketball league in celebration of the barangay fiesta.

The Lumad stood on their ground and decided to stay in the premises until their calls for the pull-out of the military troops from their ancestral lands is heeded and taken action on.

to the Philippine Government by writing to:

H.E. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Building Malacanang Palace Compound
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80

Hon. Alfredo Benjamin Sabater Caguioa
Secretary, Department of Justice
Email: info@doj.gov.ph; communications@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission On Human Rights
Telefax: 929-0102, 928-5655, 926-6188
E-mail: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
Tel: 373-97-87
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Hon. Democrito O. Plaza
Governor, Province of Agusan del Sur
Tel.: (085) 343-7144/343-7136/343-3750/
Fax: (085) 343-7369/242-3801
E-mail: mail@agusandelsur.gov.ph

Hon. Jesryl E. Masendo
Mayor, Municiplaity of Talacogon
Tel: 0920-377-0716

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