By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Leaders from the different tribes and San Miguel Surigao del Sur Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) on Saturday condemned the brutal slay of a tribal chief and a civilian on Thursday in the hinterlands of Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur province.
The IPMR and Manobo tribe urged the government to help give justice to the slain chieftain and the sectoral leader.
“They brutally killed our leader and we asked the government to give justice to them,” said San Miguel Surigao del Sur IPMR leader Datu Rico Maca, in an interview with a local radio station here on Friday.
“We, the Manobo tribe condemn this barbaric act done by the terrorists to our leader,” stressed the IPMR officer to the municipal council of San Miguel.
Maca blamed the brutal slaying of their leader to the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs), for his alleged refusal to help in the communist movement.
Military and police report, identified the victims as Datu Bernardino Austidillo,73, a Manobo tribal chieftain and Zaldy Ibañez, 52, a Cebuano married to a Manobo tribe member, both residents of Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, in San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur.
Based on the revelation of some witnesses in the said community, the victims were dragged outside of their respective houses at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and were bludgeoned with a machete that caused their instantaneous death, military and police report said.
The victims were allegedly murdered by about 15 NPAs believed to be members of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 1(SYP-1) of the Weakened Guerilla Front 30 (WGF30) of the CPP-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).
They were killed in front of their respective families who were begging and pleading to the insurgents to spare the lives of Astidillo and Ibanez, villagers told the military and police, in an initial investigation.