NPA kills two tribal leaders amid ceasefire – Army

Published January 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mike Crismundo

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Highland leaders strongly condemned the “gruesome” killing of two Indigenous People (IP) leaders by the New People’s Army in Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur over the weekend.

Philippine Army (MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Army (MANILA BULLETIN)

“This act is a clear manifestation of their evolution into a terrorist organization,” Maj. Regie H. Go, chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) told Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.

Initial report coming from the 8th Infantry Battalion (8th IB) showed that Umayamnon tribe Leader Datu Sammy Diwangan, 45, IP Mandatory Representative was shot dead while his nine-year-old son John managed to flee from the NPA attack in Barangay Canangaan, Cabanglasan town, Bukidnon province Saturday morning.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, commanding officer of the 8th IB said that while the father and son were busy doing work in the said area, four armed NPAs stopped them and immediately shot Diwangan in the forehead and fired more bullets in his body killing him instantly.

Diwangan is a respected leader in his community who is against NPA infiltration and recruitment, the report said.

“We condemn this barbaric and treacherous act of the NPAs against a helpless civilian,” Illana said.

Meanwhile, the Higaonon tribe in Agusan also condemned the killing by the NPA of their sectoral leader, Bontola T. Mansinugdan, 42.

Go said Mansinugdan and his 11-year-old son were in their farm in Kinabonglohan River in Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur province when they were abducted by the NPAs on New Year’s Day.

They were reportedly gathering native frogs for their New Year’s Day meal when they were stopped by about 30 heavily armed rebels.

The abductors were reportedly members of Guerilla front 4-A of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, Go said quoting field reports.

After the abduction, Mansinugdan was gunned down while his son was told to go home, Go added.

“These two incidents happened as the CPP-NPA is still on the ceasefire period. So we can see now what kind of Godless insurgents they are,” he said.

He added that the 4th Division under the command of Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal “strongly condemn this inhuman and treacherous act.”