By Roxan Vee Tampos

Davao Today intern

DAVAO CITY –  Tribal Manobos from Talaingod, Davao Del Norte finally find their way home.

As the sun rose from the dark side of the earth on this first Friday of May, the streak of rays also send dawn-breaking and blazing new hope for the Lumads, already set to go home to their place.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has assisted them with transport: 10 buses and six dump trucks, each vehicle to transport residents from the different barangays that were abandoned since last month.

“Sa lahi-lahi nga barangay naay sakyanan nga gipahiram si Mayor.” a Manobo tribal resident of the village of Dulyan. In his mid-20’s and busy loading up their meager belongings, he told Davao Today Manobo that Duterte did not only provide the vehicles, he also gave seeds and P1,000 per family.

“Kami mga Lumad na mibakwit dire sa Haran, karon adlawa maka uli na mi sa Talaingod, didto sa Salugpungan sa pagpahigayon ni Mayor Duterte,” Datu Duluman Dawsay said.

While they may feel ecstatic at going back home, their tribal leaders and elders expressed concern that the situation may turn out perfect and smooth.

“Kung naay NPA mangadto didto, dili man namo mapugngan sila kay para man sa tanan ang bukid. Wala man pud nanghasi ang mga NPA. Unta tabangan gihapun mi ni Mayor (We can not prevent the NPAs from going there because the mountains are for everyone. They have not harassed us. We hope Mayor Duterte would still help us),“ the Manobo villager  said.

They departed in 7:30 in the morning and they will probably arrived 10 am.

The newly created Defend Talaingod Save Pantaron Range Talaingod Manobos told Davao Today that it would mount a monitoring on the situation in the Pantaron Range. It launched a hotline number through which community leaders and residents can immediately report any abuse they may encounter after they go back to their respective villages.

The hotline number will be given to the evacuees through their village datus during the send-off ceremony before they leave the city.

“We are concerned for their safety and security; we still consider them to be vulnerable to harassment and threats” according to University of the Philippines Professor. Aya Ragragio, and a member of the Defend Talaingod Save Pantaron Alliance.

“We are also enjoining the public, and especially the press, to keep in touch with us, to remain aware, and help document the situation of our lumad brothers and sisters”, she said.

Ragragio warned that “just because the evacuees can now return to their homes does not mean that their struggle is over”.

“We must all still be committed to help the Talaingod Manobos to assert their rights to a decent life and self-determination”, she concluded. (

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