HOW CAN the mayor of Davao City possibly save the distressed lumads from the town of Talaingod, a town which is practically not within his jurisdiction?
This is one sad and unfortunate truth that stares Duterte in the face as he is confronted by the woes of the people who left their villages in Talaingod in Davao del Norte, walked for six days, until trucks picked them up until they reach Davao City.
On Wednesday, when Duterte met with the leaders of New People’s Army at the sidelines of the release of a prisoner of war in Compostela Valley, the discussion centered on the condition of the Ata-Manobo natives who have sought refuge in Davao.
He was also asked by the rebels to facilitate the safe return of the natives to their communities–their ancestral homes. It was a request, Duterte said that he has to think about. It was not a trade off for the freedom of the prisoner of war, Sgt. Jeric Curay, he believes.
“I was asked by the NPA to intervene because the people, the Ata-Manobos, are having a difficult time,” Duterte said. “The NPA rebels are really after the welfare of the people. They want me to intervene, but I don’t know. Maybe. I promised them I would do something.”
But the problem is, Talaingod is not part of Davao City.
“I’m trying to sort it out because there is something there that is beyond me, because the area is not within my jurisdiction,” he said.
The Mayor of Talaingod, Basilip Libayao, has also written Duterte–asking him to also intervene and to ask the Ata-Manobos, numbering to almost 1,000 people, more than of them children, to return to their villages. | NewsDesk