60 Higaonon families flee as suspected NPA rebels arrive in village  

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 15 January) —  The sight of heavily armed men was enough for some 60 Higaonon families to flee their homes in Sitio Bulahan, Barangay Dansolihon here on Saturday night.

Dansolihon Barangay Chairman Gilbert Nacalaban said the evacuation started Saturday night after residents heard of persistent reports of the presence of suspected communist rebels.

A Higaonon family squeezed themsels inside a small nipa hut at their tribal meeting hall in Barangay Dansoliho, Cagayan de Oro City Saturday, July 14, 2017. Higanon villagers fled their homes in Sitio Bulahan after the rebels arrived in their village. MindaNews photo by FROILAN O. GALLARDO

“I had to make four trips to the village on my pickup and Isuzu truck to ferry the residents. They all look very terrified Nacalaban said.

Two teams from the 58th Infantry Brigade and Cagayan de Oro Police Special Weapons Action Team were on standby at the  police station in Barangay Lumbia awaiting orders to go to Sitio Bulahan.

Senior Inspector Dennis Ebsolo, Lumbia police station chief said they  are still checking whether the armed men were members of the New People’s Army (NPA) as reported by some villagers.

“We have a ceasefire with this group. It is not easy just to confront them because we may violate any standing agreements,” he said.

The government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have yet to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement but each declared a unilateral ceasefire shortly before the first round of formal peace talks under the Duterte administration in August. The two parties  will hold their third round of formal talks in Rome next week, where they are hope to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

Joel Manuel, a farmer from Sitio Bulahan, said he was walking along a creek when he heard one of the armed men whistle at him and ask for directions.

“They told me their group is the army of the poor and they do not want to harm me or the villagers,” Manuel narrated.

After talking with the armed men, Manuel said he returned to his house and gathered his family to flee, fearing for their safety.

Along the way, he told his neighbors of the presence of the armed men.

“We were scared that we maybe caught in a crossfire between government troops and the rebels. The armed men numbered around 60,” Manuel said.

Capt Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the Army’s 4thInfantry Division said it is highly unlikely that there will be a gun battle between soldiers and the suspected rebels.

He said under the ceasefire agreement, the instruction on incidents like will fall under the jurisdiction of the Philippine National Police.

Martinez said Army units will be on standby and will just provide support to the police. (Froilan O. Gallardo / MindaNews)

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Unsa daw ning pang-atik sa NPA nga army of the poor daw sila? Ayaw mo pailad anang mga teroristang dagku. Unsa may nahimo nila sa mga pobre nga gipasamut ra man nila ug pagkapobre kay gasamusamuk ra man na sila sige ug panulis. Bisan pobre ila pang pigaon ug maayo. Kamong mga NPA puro ra mo mga tapulan kay dili mo kakaya mobuhi sa inyong kaugalion sa tinarong nga pamaagi. Puro mo mga talawan ug mga tapulan maayo pa ang mga kababaihan kay mokayud pa patulo ug singot aron mabuhi. Unsa kuno isog daw? Kaulaw ra ninyo uy, puro ra mo talawan. Kung isog mong tinuod, dili mo magsige ug tago. Mogawas mo diha sa inyong giluklukan unya manginabuhi mo gamit inyong muscles kung duna mo niana. Anha pa mi motuo nga worthy mo ug respeto. Pero sa pagkakaron, ang mga tawo nangasuko sa inyo kay sagabal ra mo sa ilang pag-uswag. Busa ayaw mo pataka ug tabi kay walay motuo ninyo.

    • Labaw pud kang talawan ug tapulan Marriane ha ka! Maayo ra ka mowalwal pinaagi sa MINDANEWS. Mahibaw’an gani ka sa NPA asa ka nagtago, na tigbak ka? Rebolusyonaryo gud daw ni sila subay sa mga brayt sama nila Kumander Parago, Ka Oris, Fidel Agcaoili, Luis Jalandoni, Joma Sison, Mao si tong, Stalin, John Lenin, Ka Bruno Mars.

      • Gahalhal lang ka da. Ngano kahibalo man ka nga tapulan ko? Wa baya ko mangayo nimo unya di pud ko anang EXTORTION kay mga tulisan ra man mobuhat ana. Nganong manulis man na sila kay di man gusto motrabaho ug maayo pareha sa kadaghanan. Paatik-atik pa sila anang revolutionary tax daw sa ilang mata nga TULIS na adlaw tutok. Dayon communists daw sila? Isa pud na ka atik. Tan-awa ang China communists sige ba sila panulis anang mga katawhan? Pastilan bugo ray mailad anang mga kagwang daku. Ngano patyon man nila nang mga tawo nga dili gusto sa ilang panulis ug pagdaugdaug anang mga taga bukid? Kana kay mga kriminal man silang dagku. Unya kanang ilang suguon ug panulis mao ra na gihadlok sa ilang leaders nga maoy momandar dayon mao mohawak sa tinulis. Ang mga membro mao ray giutouto. Mao na ang tinuod. Kana si Joma, way maminaw ana atik-atik ra na peace negotiation gasayang lang mog adto-adto abroad way nahimo.

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