‘Red Pangayaw’ ambush police and army guards of Xstrata-SMI

Information Office (Reference: Ka Efren)
NDFP-Far South Mindanao Region
21 June 2012

The Red Pangayaw of the Blaan tribe, whose ancestral lands are within the mining areas of Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, claim responsibility for the series of ambush on June 20, 2012 against police and Army contingents serving as guards for the large-scale foreign mining company, Xstrata-SMI. Killed in the ambush were Ret. Police Supt. Villamindo Hectin and PO2 Rey Tonzo. Wounded were SPO1 Wenefredo Sengonigue and PO1 Glen Beltran— members of the Davao del Sur police's Public Safety Command who were escorting Xstrata’s machines and equipment along the Kimlawis, Kiblawan Road. Hectin was a senior security consultant of the Xstrata-SMI.

Wounded also in a separate ambush the same day in Sitio Maklak, Brgy. Kimlawis, were an army official of the 1002nd Bde and two CAFGUS who were all rushed to the army hospital in Panacan, Davao City.

No civilians were killed or wounded in these attacks, contrary to 27th IB Lt Col Alexis Bravo’s baseless allegation,.

In a phone interview with the NDF-FSMR Information Office, the Red Pangayaw spokesman said, “Nangayaw kaming mga Lumad kay gusto namong ipabati ang tinuod namong baroganan kalabot sa dinagkung pagmina sa Xstrata-SMI. Kay pahawaon na man hinuon kaming mga Lumad sa among yutang kabilin. Mawad-an na kami og puluy-anan. Mahikawan kami sa among panginabuhian. Kawaton pa nila ang atong copper ug bulawan. Ug dauton pa gyud nila ang kinaiyahan.” (We launched this pangayaw because we want to express our true sentiments against the large-scale mining of Xstrata-SMI. We, the lumads are being driven away from our ancestral lands. We will lose our homes, we will lose our livelihood. On top this, they are robbing us of our copper and gold. And destroying the environment.)

The Red Pangayaw also expressed their strong opposition to the presence of the military and paramilitary forces which serve as company guards who have been harassing and oppressing them.
“Unya ang mga military nga gwardya sa kumpanya grabeng moipit ug mopasipala kanamong mga lumad. Magpamaayo maayo lang sila atubangan sa media. Pero dire sa bukid hilabihan nila ka mangtas.” (The military who guard the company are so oppressive to us Lumads. They try to look good and kind only when the media is present. But here in the mountains, they are cruel.)

Ka Efren of the NDF-FSMR commended the courage and continuing vigilance of the Red Pangayaw “who have resorted to the Lumad’s cultural tradition of armed confrontation (“pangayaw’) as their most effective means to defend their ancestral land and their existence as a tribe. But while the ordinary pangayaw is indiscriminate and spontaneous, the Red Pangayaw has a fixed, legitimate target and carries out social investigation and caution in their actions, as evident in the Kiblawan ambush and in earlier armed confrontations against the armed contingents of the company. “

Ka Efren further explained that Red Pangayaw is the Lumad’s active stand to defend their ancestral lands from the clout of imperialism, uphold their right to self determination, preserve the national patrimony and advance the struggle for a safe environment. “For as long as Xstrata-SMI continue to ravage the Lumad’s ancestral lands, there will always be a Red Pangayaw who will stand up and fight,” he concluded.