By Jerry J. Alcayde
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro — The Police Provincial Office (PPO) here has formed a “Mangyan Desk” that will specifically cater to the situation and needs of Mangyans in its bid to make them partners in the anti-crime drive.
Senior Superintendent Christopher C. Birung, provincial director (PD), said the Mangyans are vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous financiers involved in illegal logging and mining operations in the mountains of Mindoro Island.
Birung said he has tasked Chief Inspector Ryan Cabauatan, chief of the PPO’s Police Community Relations, to head the Mangyan Desk in Barangay Aurora, Naujan town.
he police launched a similar activity in December last year in San Teodoro town where the Philippine Army’s 203rd Brigade disclosed that most of the New People’s Army combatants in Mindoro are 70 percent Mangyan and 30 percent “Tagalog” (referring to non-Mangyans).
Birung said they are bringing in the field the Mangyan Desk also to educate them about violations of special laws in illegal logging, illegal mining, illegal drugs and to make them aware of the modus operandi of NPAs in enticing them to join the rebel group.
The Mangyans, the indigenous people (IP) of Mindoro, comprises more or less 10 percent of the total population and inhabit the mountains.
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) records showed that Mangyans are classified into seven different ethno linguistic groups: the Irayas from Puerto Galera, San Teodoro and Baco; the Alangans from San Teodoro, Baco Naujan and Victoria; the Tadyawans from Naujan, Victoria, Socorro, Pola, Gloria and Bansud, Tau-buids of Pinamalayan and Gloria; Buhid from Bansud, Bongabong and Roxas; the Bangons from Victoria, Pinamalayan, Bongabong and the Hanunuos from Roxas, Mansalay and Bulalacao.
The Mangyans are the most marginalized sector in the province and their life is characterized by extreme poverty, lack of formal education and lack of basic health services.