20 December 2017
Philippines: Indigenous people seek peace after attacks – by Mick Basa
Davao Del Norte, Philippines – Up on the verdant mountains of Talaingod, a young swine squeals as four men grab its legs and a freshly sharpened bolo readies to slash its throat.
Dahosay Ansam-on, 77, utters a prayer to the magbabaya, or the “supreme being” in Ata Manobo language. As they return to their homes, the villagers hope to live in peace.
It’s been a month since Ansam-on was reunited with villagers who fled when armed men threatened to set a school on fire in retaliation for the death of a relative killed by communist rebels from the New People’s Army (NPA).
Vivien Pepito, one of the school’s teachers, could not forget her ordeal on the night of July 6, when those men knocked violently at the door of a staff house where she and her family lives.
“They wanted to get in,” she told Al Jazeera. “I cried for help so the villagers could come to our rescue.”
Courtesy: Al Jazeera