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Ata ICCs in Paquibato makes peace with FRs through reconciliation rites

For generations, the Paquibato District has served as a stronghold for the Communist group known as the New People’s Army. These insurgents continuously infiltrated local communities, turning its hinterlands into a battleground for their operations. Because of the terror that they created in  Paquibato District, its people were collateral damage and suffered the consequences. Moreover, one of the most affected communities are the Ata Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs).

Over time, with government intervention, the processes of peace and forgiveness began to play pivotal roles in healing both the ATA community and former rebels. The journey towards reconciliation is fraught with challenges. However, forgiveness and acceptance stand as indispensable elements to mend the deep-seated wounds that have divided the community for years.

On April 24, 2024, in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, the City Government of Davao through Peace 911 and its stakeholders, commemorated the Healing and Reconciliation between the Ata Indigenous Cultural Community and Former Rebels. The overarching theme of the event was “Pakig-uli sa maayong kabubut-on tali sa ATA Indigenous Cultural Community ug sa mga Former Rebel padulong sa malinawon ug malamboon nga katilingban.”

This ritual was presided by Tumanuron Datu Boyson Anib, a member of the Indigenous People Structure (IPS) Executive Council, alongside with the Punong Barangays of Paquibato District, Atty. Jonah Margarette F. Presto, the Peace 911 Focal Person, Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, representatives from the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, former rebels, Ata community members, and other public officials.

The occasion symbolized a significant milestone in the Paquibato District’s history, marking the cessation of a cycle of violence. Every participant pledged their commitment to fostering enduring peace within their communities through this reconciliation ceremony.

April 2024