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Army urges lumads to cooperate vs rebels

By Mike Crismundo

CAMP DATU LIPUS MAKAPANDONG, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – So that none of their highland communities could be penetrated by lawless elements, the Philippine Army (PA) on Friday urged tribal communities to immediately report to the nearest police and military installations or to local government units (LGUs) of any suspicious movements of group or individual in their respective localities.

Majority of the highland tribes in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region are Manobo, Higaonon, Mamanwa, and Talaindig.

The PA’s 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade based here also told the lumads, especially their respective tribal chieftains and sectoral Datu’s or leaders to “stay alert” always and to report immediately any presence or suspicious motives by any individuals or group that could trigger conflict within their respective highland communities.

“Our main concern is to protect these lumads (natives) from any lawless elements, especially the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs),” Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) said.

The 4th ID chief ordered all field unit commanders to protect the lumads in their respective highland communities and their respective Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).