Stakeholders create mechanism to protect Tedurays in Datu Hofer town

COTABATO CITY - To protect the Teduray residents of Barangay Limpongo in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao, the Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (RRUC), 105th Base Command of MILF – BIAF, the 57th IB, PA and the Maguindanao Police Office in coordination with the Local Government Unit have established the Municipality of Datu Hoffer Coordinating Council to closely monitor peace and security in the area.

On September 1, 2018, at around 9; 55 in the morning a shooting incident took place at Sitio Buntod, Barangay Limpongo in the said town where Nestor A. Daingan, 68 years old, male, married, farmer, and Rene S. Usman, 28 years old, male, married, farmer, both residents of said barangay were killed. 

According to the report of Datu Hoffer Municipal Police Station, the victims were farming in the area when the shooting incident took place. Before killing the victims, the perpetrators tied their both hands before they were shot point blank.

According to the police report, the suspects are still roaming around Sitio Buntod in said barangay. 

As per account of Limpongo Chairwoman Jocelyn Unao Pantingan, a day before the shooting (August 31, 2018) at around 7pm the military detachment at Barangay Limpongo was harassed resulting to the death of Ricky Udas. 

Upon receipt of the information, Ms. Fatima Kanakan, Executive Director of Office on Southern Cultural Communities (OSCC) immediately informed RRUC Chairman Romeo Sema regarding the plight of the indigenous peoples in the area, and subsequently, RRUC chairman called for a meeting in Cotabato City to discuss possible solutions to the problem.

RRUC – ARMM Executive Director Abdulbasit R. Benito revealed that upon the instructions of Chairman Sema, RRUC team immediately conducted a low profile fact finding mission on October 3, 2018.

Dir. Benito disclosed that during October 12 meeting in Cotabato City they have identified a long term and short term interventions, but the most urgent one is the creation of an area peace coordinating center.

To implement the said proposed solutions, Vice Mayor Bai Johaira “Bong” Ampatuan of Datu Hoffer Municipality hosted an RRUC – MPOC Joint meeting on October 15, 2018 held at the session hall of the municipality. 

Municipal Administrator, and former Maguindanao 2nd District Board member Datu Norodin Mamaluba presided over the meeting. In that meeting, the CO of 57th IB Lt. Col. Gener Jr. discussed the concept of area coordinating center. 

According to Col. Gener, there is really a need to initiate other security measures such as formation of Peace Monitoring Center that has been agreed in the Cotabato meeting. The said coordinating center will be led by the Local Chief Executive with the AFP and other members from different multi-sectoral groups in the area

He added that the “Creation of the coordination center is not the end, while we strengthen our forces in the area, we will also consider the education, health and sanitation of the people in the community. We also need to identify first their basic needs. If they don’t have fear in their community maybe we can provide some basic services for them”

PO Abas supports the idea of Col Gener Jr. saying that the meeting is actually a continuation of the RRUC meeting in Cotabato City that the creation of coordination peace center as main agenda is one of the good solutions, an immediate action of the group to the incidents in the municipality.

OSCC Fatima Kanakan disclosed the interventions made by her agency where they provided relief assistance to more than One thousand affected individuals. She said that they made a request to RRUC – ARMM assistance, thus this humanitarian undertaking is taking place.  

On the part of the AFP on the issue of Teduray in Limopngo, the AFP committed to provide early response if needed. 

The agreed formation of a coordination center will be composed of different sectors in the municipality such as, LGU of Datu Hoffer, Mayor as the Chairman,57IB (Ernesto) AFP, PNP (MPS- COP), Sangguniang Bayan Datu Akas Ampatuan,105th Base Command (MILF-Zukarno Gandawali), Council of Elders from Tabunaway - Rudy Binansilan, Council of Elders from Mamalu Salundab Kusan, MSWO/DSWD. 

Supervision and monitoring group are RRUC-ARMM, OSCC, CCCH-GPH, PPO, and the CSO-IRWW (Monitoring)

Datu Hoffer MPDS Headquarter will serve as the temporary center of the coordinating council. To strengthen the mechanism, the Sangguniang Bayan of Datu Hoffer will pass a resolution/ordinance for the creation of the said coordinating council.  As a support group, IRRW was requested to provide assistance (logistics and capacity building) as part of their program.