CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army (PA) in Oriental Mindoro have urged Mangyan tribesmen not to allow themselves to be used by syndicates involved in illegal logging and illegal mining activities.
Senior Superintendent Christopher C. Birung, provincial director of Oriental Mindoro Police Provincial Office (PPO) said last December, he received the assurance from Mangyan leaders that they will support the anti-criminality campaign of the police and military during a forum held on December 4, 2017 in San Teodoro municipal gymnasium with 65 Mangyan leaders in attendance.
Birung said that they are aware of the cultural practices of Mangyans which they will put into consideration while implementing some laws, but stressed that they will be strict in enforcing environmental laws.
The police has monitored that majority of Mangyans are being exploited by unscrupulous financiers involved in logging and mining operations in the mountains of Puerto Galera, Baco and San Teodoro towns.
Captain Christopher Cuenca, spokesperson of Mindoro-based Philippine Army’s 203rd Brigade, for his part said that he believed that Mangyans are peace-loving people who do not have specific word for war but they are only being used by the New People’s Army by capitalizing on unresolved ancestral domain issues and the alleged anomalous implementation of the National Greening Program.
Cuenca told the forum participants to be on the lookout for those outsiders who come to their community as pastors but who are actually recruiters and supply officers of the NPA.
Cuenca claimed that their brigade has monitored that at least 18 male Mangyans are now active members of the NPA operating in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro as he revealed that 70 percent of NPA elements are Mangyans while 30 percent are Tagalogs.