AFP recruits "lumad" soldiers to fight NPA rebels

photo file / photo grabbed from GMA news (ctto)

Philippine military is about to send around 300 trained lumads or indigenous soldiers to their lands to protect their ancestral domain against communist rebels after graduating from a basic course.

These lumad soldiers were grouped into four companies of Sundalo ng Mamamayan Armado Laban sa Terorismo at Kriminalidad (Soldiers of the People Armed Against Terrorism and Criminality, or SMART).

According to public affairs chief of the 10th Infantry Division, Capt. Jerry Lamosao, they are set to be assigned near their villages after finishing an eight-week basic military training.

“The potential of the IPs will be seen in a different perspective. They can maximize the skills and knowledge acquired during training in solving issues and problems in their communities,” Capt. Lamosao said.

Meanwhile, Major General Noel Clement, 10th ID commander, said that the indigenous soldiers, with the aid of the training the military provided, can now help in fighting harassment caused by the New People’s Army as well as the recruitment from their communities.

“Those in the ancestral domains are very prone to agitation and recruitment because of their innocence about the real picture of the NPA’s intentions,” Maj. Gen, Clement said.

“As such, there’s a need to educate and inform the IP communities about the propaganda, deception and motives of the communists in their ancestral domain.” He added.

This lumad training is considered as the best action plan to counter the recruitment of indigenous people to be part of the communist group.

Reports said that 80 percent of the members of the communist insurgents in Southern Mindanao were from the tribes.

A study conducted by a Davao army division revealed the extent of NPA trickery to the lumads.

On the other hand, , NPAs and other leftist organization have hit the move of the military to recruit the lumads.

 source: Inquirer

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