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Lumads flee homes after leaders’ murder

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – About 200 families or more than 800 individuals belonging to Talaindig tribe left their homes and farmlands following the killing of their leaders at their highland community in Kilometer 55, Barangay Zillovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur.

Majority of the fleeing lumads are temporarily sheltered at a gymnasium in Talacogon, where they are being attended to by the local government unit of Talacogon town, according to lawyer Ferdausi, municipal administrator. He said members of the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) are conducting meetings to address the problem of the lumad evacuees and their highland communities.

Aside from foods, Ferdausi said the main concern of the natives is the health condition of their children.

It was learned that the lumad people fled their homes following the killing of their leaders Erning Alaki and Ricky Bucalas.

Alaki’s body was found in Tumalog creek at Sitio Tumalog, Barangay Zillovia, on June 4, while Bucalas was discovered dead in Sitio Tumalog of that same town the next day.

The victims belonged to Talaandig tribe living in the far-flung barangays of Talacogon town. The other evacuees reside along the highland provincial border of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon.

Ferdausi, said the MPOC is still determining the reason of the exodus and real motive behind the killing of their leaders.

Gov. Adolph Edward G. Plaza directed the social workers of the Provincial Development and Welfare Office to bring food supplies and medicines to the lumad evacuees and also assist the LGU Talacogon in the distribution of foods to them. (Mike U. Crismundo)