By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division condemned the New People’s Army (NPA) for the alleged killing of Datu Rostico Sandag Porogoy, the tribal chieftain of Santiago, Agusan del Norte on Tuesday morning.
According to a police report, the reported killing took place at about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday.
It was learned that Datu Porogoy was on board his XRM motorcycle and was on his way to visit his people in Pangaylan (a Manobo community in Santiago) when three suspected NPA gunmen who were riding a motorcycle and armed with cal .45, shot him twice at his back and one on his right shoulder that caused his instantaneous death.
Lt. Col. Glen Aynera, Commanding Officer of the 29th Infantry Battalion decried the terroristic act and brutality of the NPA bandits.
“The killing of Datu Porogoy is a blatant execution. This is another Lumad killing purposely to sow threat and violence among the peace-loving Lumads and to the Filipino people as a whole,” Aynera said.
Datu Porogoy is the representative of CADT 134. He is a staunch peace advocate in Caraga region. He strongly denounced NPA atrocities and led his tribe in supporting government programs for peace and development.
“The attack on Datu Porogoy is a clear and undeniable proof of the NPA’s human rights atrocities in Lumad communities. This is also a solid proof of the NPA’s continuing campaign to take control of our Lumads and anyone who gets in their way is killed in the process,” Aynera stressed.
Maj. Gen Ronald Villanueva, 4th ID Commander, urged the people to join in the cry for justice. He also urged KARAPATAN and other organizations who are calling for the end to Lumad killings to similarly condemn this dastardly act and denounce the NPA’s human rights violations.
“Let not Datu Porogoy’s death be the end of his advocacy for his people, but rather an inspiration to others to pursue peace and development,” Villanueva said.
“We sympathize with his family, relatives, friends, loved ones, and constituents. The AFP will intensify operations to go after the perpetrators of this cowardly attack and at the same time ensure that Lumad tribesmen loyal to Datu Porogoy will not conduct revenge killings as the attack could trigger a new wave of violence among Lumad factions,” he said.
Villanueva said Datu Porogoy’s death is very unfortunate because the AFP, PNP and our LGUs have been working hard to de-escalate the situation.