Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Battalion denies Army's air strike wounded a civilian following an encounter with the New People's Army in Davao Oriental. (Paulo C. Rizal/

(Paulo C. Rizal/ file photo)

DAVAO CITY – An Army official bared that some tribal leaders are mulling to launch a “pangayaw” or tribal war for the death of Ata Manobo leader Ruben Labawan.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division said some tribal leaders are approaching them for advice on what to do after Labawan’s death.

Labawan, is a tribal leader of the Ata in Paquibato district here who took an active role in the government’s anti-insurgency campaign. He was killed by the New People’s Army on July 6 in Panabo City. Labawan was buried on Thursday, July 8.

“We have some tribal leaders going to the division and asking for advises. There are several tribal leaders going to the Division to ask what will they do,” Batchar said.

He said the 1003rd Brigade is now conducting “peace dialogues” among the groups of the Lumad “to avoid further bloodshed.”

“We cannot control it already. All we can do right now, is to talk to them, to prevent (it), because sooner or later they will face criminal charges if they still pursue with the pangayaw,” said Batchar.

Batchar said Labawan was “a very active member of the Ata Manobo tribe, who is helping his fellow Lumad in Paquibato district to alleviate their way of living.”

However, the NPA in a statement said “Labawan was guilty of blood debts and thereby meted with the death penalty for serious crimes against the people, especially the Lumads and peasant settlers of Davao City and North Cotabato.”

“He was also guilty of grave acts of collusion in the reactionary regime’s campaign of duplicity and disunity among Lumads,” said Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command.

Sanchez said Labawan was enlisted as an intelligence operative for the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) since 2001. (

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