Military-sponsored tribal war claims farmer’s life in Paquibato District Davao City, Philippines



On 6 August 2010, Private First Class (PFC) Quimpio Labawan together with a certain Dodoy Alunsagay served as escort/bodyguard of the former’s brother, Datu Ruben Labawan, a Confidential Agent (CA) of the 1003rd Brigade attached to the 10th IDPA, when they were ambushed allegedly by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Marugaan, Barangay Colosas, Paquibato District, Davao City on their way to Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte.  Datu Ruben Labawan survived but both escorts were killed.  Backed by Brigadier General Eduardo del Rosario a.k.a Datu Limbutong of the 1003rd Brigade, Ruben Labawan publicly declared a Pangayaw or tribal war against the residents of Brgy. Colosas alleging that all of them are NPA supporters.

Upon learning the news, residents observed caution and refrained from venturing out far from the neighborhood alone fearing that they may chance upon Ruben Labawan and his men or the soldiers.

But on 12 August 2010, Julius D. Tamundez was forced to go to his uncle, Angelino M. Genturales’ farm to fix a busted pipeline.  The farm is about 60 meters away from Angelino’s residence and the busted pipeline is near the water source which is located downhill.

At around 10:00 AM of that said date, Angelino heard burst of gunfire and his nephew’s voice crying for help.  He immediately followed the direction of the voice and saw three barefoot men in military uniform shooting at the direction where the voice of his nephew was coming from.  Fearing for his life, he withdrew and ran towards the village center to ask for help.  

Accompanied by some members of the community who responded to his plea, they went back to the crime scene and found the dead body of Julius who sustained three gunshot wounds.

Since then, Angelino has not gone home and is afraid to go to his farm for fear of meeting the suspects again.  The pangayaw has terrorized the whole community.