KilaBalita: 200 natives flee as soldiers turn village into camp

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THE INDEPENDENT news organization KilaBalita reports another displacement of indigenous peoples from their community in Mindanao because of the presence of soldiers.

Around 200 lumad left their homes in Side 4, Barangay Mangayon in Compostela town, Compostela Valley province Saturday as they fear for their lives.

The soldiers, the group said, occupied a community school and basically turned the small community of Manobo into a military camp.

Photos showed armed soldiers roaming around the community. The occupation of the village started Nov. 23.

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“The Save Our Schools Network launched a fact finding mission, which reported that 30 fully-armed soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion of the 101st Brigade have been occupying houses in front of the Salugpongan Learning Center,” the news group said.

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The IPs left their village Saturday and are temporarily staying at the Compostela Municipal gym.

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“Prior to that, the SOS joined farmers groups Compostela Farmers Association (CFA) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in confronting Lt. Danjo Lagula, ground commander of the military unit. Lagula refused to heed their demands, saying that they have no authority from their commander,” KilaBalita said.

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This is the latest attack of the Philippine Army against Lumad schools in the southern part of Mindanao against schools in the past few years including the Salugpongan Learning Center assisted by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and MISFI Academy.

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| Photos by KilaBalita

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