DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – Tribal leaders of Lambangian Teduray on Monday condemned the killing of two of its members and the abduction of another one allegedly by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Datu Hofer, Maguindanao.
Santos Unsad, deputy tribal chief of Timuay Justice and Governance, said the whole tribe of Teduday is now mourning the death of the victims and condemned the manner with which they were killed by gunmen on Saturday in Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hofer.
Unsad identified the victims as Nestor Daingan and Rene Usman, both farmers and living in Mt. Firis, their ancestral home in Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
Another tribe member, Efren Daingan, was abducted by about 40 suspected BIFF members and feared to have been executed, too.
Unsad said the trio was among some 300 Teduday villagers displaced by repeated harassment by the BIFF near Mt. Firis.
“They were hogtied, shot and even hacked with machetes,” Unsad said.
But BIFF spokesperson Abu Misry Mama denied their group was behind the killings and abduction.
Froilyn Mendoza, former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and leader of Teduday Women Advocate, said the victims were all farmers who had been harassed by gunmen in the past.
She said Daingan was heading to Datu Hofer town hall to receive assistance as beneficiary of a local government project along with Usman who was on his way to the town center to sell corn.
Usman was planning to proceed to Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat to pay his last respects to a dead relative.
Daingan failed to claim his assistance while Usman lost his corn and did not make it to Esperanza because around 40 suspected BIFF members flagged them down, took their valuables, hacked and shot them.
Brig. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 601st brigade commander, also believed the BIFF was behind the killings.
“We have plans against the perpetrators,” Carreon said. “We will protect the Tedudays,” he assured, adding an “oplan” (operation plan) is already in place. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)