DavNor Governor Jubahib visits the farthest IP village of his province

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TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte (July 22) — Governor Edwin Jubahib on Friday visited the isolated tribal village of this province, Sitio Tapayanon, Gupitan, Kapalong, in keeping his promise to look after the welfare of the Lumads and provide full support for their welfare and development.

During the visit, Jubahib asked the tribal leaders to join him and the government and work for peace and development of Davao del Norte.

Jubahib said “by providing the services and programs to the community, the leaders will have the courage to persuade the IP rebels to return to the mainstream society.

Sitio Tapayanon is an isolated Indigenous Peoples village, it is geographically detached from the municipal centre, the home of over fifty (50) families, it sits at the tri-boundaries of the provinces of Davao del Norte, Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur. It takes a week of walking to reach the nearest population centre.

For so many years, the government did not realize nor was aware that the village exist, it was only during and encounter between the NPA rebels and the troop from 60th Infantry Battalion last March, that the area was discovered.

Jubahib, a neophyte politician, vowed that his administration will help uplift the poor and the marginalized with emphasis on the indigenous peoples who have been left out in the development of the province.

Jubahib also committed to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign to end the insurgency problem in the province.

Davao del Norte is among the lairs of the communist insurgents and the bed of recruitment among IP, who remained vulnerable to false promises by the terrorist rebels.

Army’s 60th IB Civil Military Operations officer 1Lt. Amadeus VJ Celestial revealed the convergence camp is the first encounter of the villagers with government agencies.

Residents of the place established their own way of life and exercise their own governance during the last 100 years, Celestial noted.

The governor visited the village which is the first step of the implementation of his Executive Order No. 2, creating Task Force Davao del Norte to end local communist armed conflict in the province.

Earlier on, Jubahib signed the adoption of the national peace framework, to harmonize the delivery of basic services and address the root causes of insurgency in the locality.           

The visit was done two days ahead of the Multi-Stakeholder Service Convergence Camp scheduled from July 21-23, 2019, The conference is aimed at addressing the socio-economic and cultural concerns of the Ata-Manobo Indigenous People (IP) in the area.

Providing the basic needs of the IP and the delivery of government services in the area is one of the key factors which will motivate the IP’s to support the programs of the government, and on the same breath discourage them to join the communist movement.

Governor Edwin Jubahib (left) plants a coconut tree to mark his historic visit to the isolated tribal village of Sitio Tapayanon, which is a former NPA lair. Assisting him is Tribal Chieftain Datu Bansing Balanban. 1Lt. AVJ Celestial

“Kailangan nating ibigay ang genuine public service. Kaya nating tapusin ang insurgency sa probinsya kung ang lahat ng government agencies magtulungan (We need to deliver genuine public service. We can end insurgency in the province with the support of all the government agencies),” Jubahib said.

During his visit, Jubahib launched the project dubbed as “Project Tapayanon”, and brought along with him 20 government agencies and non-government organizations, as they delivered social services to the village which used to be a lair of the new People’s Army (NPA).

He said their objective is to bring basic services, assess and determine the kind of intervention which the government will provide to the community, saying the best approach is for the people to define what they need and what can the government share to bring about long-term benefits to the Lumads of Sitio Tapayanon.

Among those who joined Jubahib include 10th ID Commander MGen. Jose Faustino, Davao de Oro 2nd District Congressman Rowel Peter Gonzaga, 1001st Brigade Commander BGen. Gilbert Saret, 10th ID Operations Officer Col. Nasser Lidasan and 60th IB Commander LtCol. Gilbert Ombos.-with report from Noel Baguio/DavNor

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