Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – Some 60 tribal leaders all over the province of Agusan del Sur yesterday convene in order to unite themselves as members of the Agusan del Sur Tribal Council in order to free their domains from NPA infestation and condemn the violent practices that the Communist Party of the Philippines, New Peoples’ Army and the National Democratic Fronts (CNN) are doing in the province.
In a consultation made in one of the resorts here, Datu Manggubat Marcus Gonzales, Provincial Tribal Chieftain reviewed and read one by one the provisions of the manifesto that the council have prepared during their initial meeting last September 5, 2015 before the council in order to confirm their commitment to fight for their cause to drive away the CNN from their domains and prepare themselves to fight the infiltration of the CNN in their areas and stop any activities that the CNN plan to inflict.
“As we all hear from radio, television and other media outlet, the brutal killing in Diatagon, Lianga Surigao del Sur were all blamed to the baganis, the tribal warriors. Yes, the people they called baganis are tribal warriors as termed by the lumads ever since, but presently, there is no legal or listed bagani all over the country and we do not know if they are real baganis. Who knows? The order of the national government is to disarm the bagani, but who will they disarm? The tribal warriors whom we, the tribal leaders who have recognized the bagani as defender and protector of our domain? How about the CNN? Why blame that terroristic deed to our protectors and defenders? Why not to the CNN?” Mayor Dario Otaza of the municipality of Loreto, the father of the tribal leaders who liberate the municipality of Loreto from the presence of the CNN said.
Among the major provisions of the manifesto state that the manifesto will be submitted to the Department of the National Defense, the President of the Philippines and other government offices. It will support the strengthening of the real bagani whom the tribal leaders recognized as protectors and defenders of their areas or territories from any harm and violators of their rights. To fight and eradicate the CPP/NPA in the province that spread fear and disrespect to human rights, be lumads and non-lumads; that all organization of the CNN in the province have no right to join in any organization or discussion by the tribal groups; to stop organizing or strengthening of their organizations in the province especially in the tribal communities and territories and condemn the activities of their fronts like the Karapatan, ALCADEV, Bayan Muna and other groups that teach the communist ways to children and local residents.
“In Agusan del Sur alone, more than 300 tribal leaders and lumads were killed by the CNN, but until now, they are unknown. We have brought these incidents in the national level but to no avail. We wonder why the killing of the three victims in Surigao del Sur shock the country and even the whole world and gain recognition. We can ask then, who are behind all these? Are our brothers and sisters who were killed by the CNN not worthy of their lives? Or just because we have no propaganda arm to sensationalize their deeds and condemn them (CNN)?” As leaders, it is now time to be ready to dedicate our lives for our rights as lumads and die for our tribes,” Datu Manggugubat Marcus Gonzales said.
A tribal chieftain from Sinagat also said if they tribal chieftains will not pass the manifesto to strengthen and legalize the Bagani whom they believe ever since that can protect their territories and domain, who will fight for them to protect their rights and their tribe?
Finally, the Agusan del Sur Tribal Council unanimously approved and pass the manifest, affixing their signatures and thumb marks at around 1:00 PM of September 21, 2015.
According to Datu Mangugubat and Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto, they are preparing to conduct a tribal summit to be attended by all tribal leaders Caraga Region wide and government officials on October. However, the exact date was not yet set.