ABOUT 190 Lumad families left their homes following a clash between the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and government troops in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur last February 21, police said on Saturday.
The soldiers were implementing a community support program in Barangay Mampi when the communist insurgents fired at the soldiers, according to the Police Region Office (PRO) 13.
The rebels were also threatening the Lumads for not supporting their movements, police said.
The Lumad families sought refuge at the gymnasium in Barangay Agsam in the same town. Police personnel of Lanuza are providing security and basic services like food and clothes to the displaced families.
“We condemn these atrocities that have brought fear to our IP communities. The rebels’ activities are truly anti-peace and development,” Chief Supt. Noli Romana, Regional Director of PRO 13, said.
President Rodrigo Duterte offered the Lumads a P20,000-bounty for every rebel they could kill as a way to motivate them to eliminate the rebels in their area.
Last February 8, More than 100 Lumad residents in Butuan sought refuge after a clash between the NPA rebels and the military, resulting in the death of one soldier.
More than 3,000 Lumads have evacuated their homes.
Duterte told Lumad leaders that he was seeking investors to put up businesses on their ancestral lands and urged them to move away from their communities sp that the military could use them for combat operations.
This angered some Lumad leaders, criticizing Duterte for taking away their lands.
The United Nation State of the World’s Indigenous People previously reported that the Philippines was one of the countries facilitating large-scale mining by foreign corporations, which resulted in may Lumads being displaced from their ancestral lands. ROY NARRA