THE military has expressed optimism that the surrender of the tribal leader and 14 other members of the indigenous people on March 14 has decimated the influence of the New People’s Army on the Ata Manobo group in Talaingod.

Those who surrendered were headed by Datu Tungig Mansimuy-at, the last leader of the community who was inside the United Church of Christ in the Philippines-Haran. Among those who joined him were Pasaka members.

Col. Marion Angcao, 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander, said his military unit is ready to assist the community, including those who have yet to surrender and are planning to return to the folds of the law eventually.

“Because the goal is that even though the province [Davao region] is Insurgency Free, there are still those who have not returned to their families to achieve their peaceful living back in the community,” said Angcao.

The group started staying at the Haran facility in 2015 amid the claim of the military that the communist insurgents were exploiting them to pressure the government to leave their communities alone.

Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib also vowed to help the group like what his administration has been doing to those who returned to the folds of the law.

In 2014, Datu Mansimuy-at was a purok leader at So Nalubas, Brgy Palma Gil, in Talaingod and was a courier of the insurgency.  He was eventually appointed as head of the committee on health in one of the units of the insurgents and even acted as a spokesperson of the outlawed group. 

He even led the Salugpungan schools in Talaingod and even joined several protest actions in the National Capital Region. He eventually became the secretary general of the Pasaka- Southern Mindanao Region in 2021.


Source: Mindanao Times (