Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 11 (file photo)
DAVAO CITY – Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 11 (RPOC-11), said they are waiting for the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Center to formally turn over the indigenous peoples (IPs) housed in their facility to their respective communities.
In an interview over the weekend, Dayanghirang told the Philippine News Agency that a dialogue has been made between the two parties where the UCCP agreed to release the IPs.
“We are waiting for their promise and we are waiting for their go signal,” he said.
Dayanghirang added that the RPOC-11 is always ready should the administrators of Haran decide to return them to their respective provinces.
“We are ready to accept and provide a livelihood to these IPs,” he added.
Early this year, RPOC-11 approved a resolution seeking the immediate closure of Haran which has been serving as the temporary shelter for the IPs from various provinces since early 2015.
Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib, who moved for Haran’s closure, said the IPs inside the facility are being exploited by the communist rebel movement for “various terroristic activities.”
Dayanghirang also accused the center of violating the Indigenous People’s Rights Act, as well as committing child abuse and serious illegal detention offenses while engaging in human trafficking.
“We are urging the concerned agencies to file appropriate charges for we want it to be closed as soon as possible,” he said.
He added that the IPs inside the center are being manipulated and exploited and that closing the facility would mean freedom for tribe members allegedly being locked inside it.
“That is our direction [closure of Haran], especially that there is a pandemic and the IPs living in the Haran compound are in danger,” Dayanghirang added. (PNA)