Caraga IP leaders want Duterte to sign Anti-Terrorism Act

Leaders of Indigenous People Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) in the Caraga Region have asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte to sign the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 into law.

According to the IPMRs, the Anti-Terror bill would help the indigenous people and their communities in the Caraga region to stop the extortion, harassment, and killing activities of the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

Datu Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the IPMR of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, said in a text to Philippine News Agency Thursday that the tribe in their town needs the measure to protect their family from the NPA rebels.

“The NPA, as a organization, continue to exploit the tribal communities and commit crimes against humanity such as the killings of IP and peasant leaders who stand firm in the peaceful objectives to end communist armed conflicts,” Bucales said.

Agusan del Norte IPMR Datu Bawang Eddie Sulhayan Ampiyawan earlier expressed his support to pass the anti-terror bill into law. He said the measure would further shield the IP communities in the province from the NPA.

“As Mindanaoans directly affected by the act of terrorism by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs), we look forward to the anti-terror bill to be signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte for it to become a law,” the tribal leader said.

He said the tribe in Lianga is mostly affected by the “terroristic acts and atrocities of the NPA and its front organizations.”

Also read: Duterte to review Anti-Terror bill for ‘public interest’

Another IPMR from Surigao del Sur, Datu Rico Maca from San Miguel town, said it is already public knowledge of how the NPA rebels “terrorize” the tribe in the province.

“The NPA rebels killed our leaders and members in San Miguel, especially in far-flung communities like animals,” said Maca on Thursday. He added the act would also prevent the NPA from recruiting the tribe’s young people.

“I, as the IPMR of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, strongly express my support, in behalf of the tribe, for the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,” Maca said.

The public is still waiting on whether President Rodrigo Duterte would sign or veto the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Those who oppose the bill in Metro Manila meanwhile are currently conducting “mañanita” protests against the Anti-terror act.