DAVAO CITY – The city government is willing to relocate here the tribal evacuees (also called Lumads) who have taken refuge for more than eight months now in UCCP Haran compound.
On the regular Thursday press conference I-Speak at the City Hall, City Administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain said that Roy Ryan Rigor, officer-in-charge of Housing and Homesite Development-City Planning and Development Office (HHD-CPDO) has offered the Lumads a relocation site in Los Amigos, Tugbok, 17 kilometers northwest of downtown.
According to Rigor, a contact with the Lumads said that they will make their decision on the third week of November because their leaders are still in Manila.
There are about 1,000 tribal evacuees here and they came from Kapalong and Talaingod in Davao del Norte, and Bukidnon. They sought refuge at the UCCP Haran claiming that the soldiers and militia had encamped in their community.
Quitain said there were concern about their sanitary condition in the religious-owned compound. “If you care to know, the place is very unsanitary, very unhealthy,” he said.
He said though that it would be up to the Lumads to decide on the city offer. “As far as we are concerned, we have a relocation for them and we will give them all the assistance that we can give,” Quitain said.
“Whether they are outside Davao City or from Davao City, these are still people that we are dealing with.Their being from Bukidnon and from Davao is incidental, the main point is we are dealing with people,” said Quitain.
Quitain also said that the City will not allow again on what North Cotabato second district Representative Nancy Catamco did last July to use force to bring back home the Lumads.
“We would not like a repetition of that incident. What we want is they must leave on their own peacefully,” he said. (davaotoday.com)