30 targets | Talaingod chieftains to declare pangayaw over murder of Datu, son

A TRIBAL leader in Talaingod, Davao del Norte revealed that the Council of Elders may declare a pangayaw today against 30 of its members who are allegedly supporting the New People’s Army following the killing of a datu and his son on Feb. 4.

Pangayaw is a tribal ritual which can be loosely interpreted as revenge killing.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Datu Lumansad Sibugan of the Ata-Manuvu tribe said that the tribal chieftains already discussed the possibility of declaring the pangayaw to give justice for the deaths of the family.

“We are affected one-hundred percent by the killing of Datu Banadjao (Mampaundag) because of the CPP-NPA,” said Sibugan, who is also the presiding officer of the Talaingod Council of Elders.

He said that if they don’t declare the pangayaw against the 30 men and women, the number of supporters for the NPA will only multiply.

Sibugan said some of the subjects of the pangayaw are their relatives. He also claimed that the NPA has been sending him a warning through emissaries. But he said that he’s not afraid to die.

“Why will they kill me when they are the ones stealing our lands?” he said of the NPA.

The tribal datu identified a certain Rommel, who introduced himself as a commander of the NPA, as the one who has been killing tribal chieftains in Talaingod.

By their count, the NPA already killed 14 tribal leaders.

The communist rebels who killed Banadjao disguised themselves as soldiers in order not to alert the victim and his son. They then strafed his house, Sibugan said.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Caccal, provincial head of NCIP-Davao del Norte, appealed for cooler heads among the tribal chieftains.

“But it’s really beyond our control, if the tribal elders have already decided,” he said.

Talaingod, Davao del Norte has 60 tribal chieftains.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said they don’t encourage tribes to engage in revenge killing. He said the army will always perform its mandate of securing the communities.

Chief Insp. Andrea Dela Cerna, spokesperson of Davao Police Regional Office, said they respect the culture and tradition of the IPs. “We will make sure that the people are protected,” she said.

Chief Insp. Werenfredo Regidor, head of the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office-Investigation Division, said they already identified the nine of the 12 perpetrators who were involved in the murder of the Banadjaos.

“Their affidavits are ready, we are just waiting on the affidavit of the wife,” Regidor said.

He also said they are supposed to file the complaint for two counts of murder against the perpetrators but had to postpone to respect the family’s request to do it after the burial.

“We already have their identity but we can’t reveal yet their names,” he added.

The military and the police sent additional forces to prepare for the pangayaw.