An elder tribeswoman’s rage  

When someone rages at you without even glancing at your face, you know there is not only anger and hatred.  There is the feeling of being betrayed.

Once given a beaded necklace by Ata Manobo tribal chieftain Bai Bibiyaon Ligkayan Bigkay, Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco is now the most despised woman of the tribe after she launched a botched ‘rescue attempt’ of  700 internally displaced tribe members seeking sanctuary at the heart of Davao City.

In a 5-minute video clip posted by Kilab Multimedia, Bai Bibiyaon only glanced once at Rep. Catamco, holding the beaded necklace she gave the legislator while she ranted and fended the hands off her shoulder.

“I gave you this bead necklace to signify we don’t want violence,” she said as she touched the memento.

The steely stare of Ata Manobo cheiftain Bai BibiyaonLigkayan Bigkay in this file p[hoto by Kilab Multimedia.
The steely stare of Ata Manobo cheiftain Bai BibiyaonLigkayan Bigkay in this file p[hoto by Kilab Multimedia.
At least 2 times, she told the lady legislator from Cotabao to shut up and listen.

“We don’t trust your words now,” Bai Bibiyaon bluntly and forcefully said.

Bibiyaon was speaking for members of her tribe who left their homes in the remote villages in Talaingod after the military occupied their houses and the schools.

“You said before you will come but the day you came you brought soldiers with you. That is painful to us,” she told Gotamco who continues to interrupt her.

Catamco denied she brought soldiers but reports said 2 Army generals were with her when they forcibly entered the Haran Mission inside the compound of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

She was also with around 500 soldiers, Davao City riot police and members of the military-backed paramilitary group Alamara.

One of the Alamara members who accompanied Catamco tearfully hugged his parents who are among those seeking refuge at the Haran Mission.

“I don’t want to be forced to join the Alamara for our tribe will be split apart,” Bai Bibiyaon railed.

The tribal chieftain said they were angered when Catamco brought with her precisely soldiers they fled from.

“In our times, it takes only two datus to sit and resolve our problems,” she rued about the failure of authorities to address their problem.

In another scathing rebuke, she told Gotamco, “Don’t look down at us because we have not been to school.”

A graduate of Ateneo de Davao University, Catamco was earlier quoted by the press to have said that the Ata Manobos stink.

 

Rep. Nancy Gotamco, holding a microphone, was with 2 Philippine Army generals when she entered the Haran Mission at teh UCCP compouned in Davao City.PHOTO COURTESY OF KILAB MULTIMEDIA
Rep. Nancy Gotamco, holding a microphone, was with 2 Philippine Army generals when she entered the Haran Mission at teh UCCP compouned in Davao City.PHOTO COURTESY OF KILAB MULTIMEDIA

“Did you say we stink?  Didn’t you see that our supply is limited and we have to pay for it not like in the mountains where water is flowing,” Bai Bibiyaon reminded the legislator.

Every time Catamco tried to interrupt, she was bluntly told, “Keep quiet. Don’t answer me.”

Among Philippines tribes, it is disrespectful to interrupt an elder, much more a chieftain, while he or she is talking.  More so, if one is in a middle of discourse describing a litany of grievances.

Bibiyaon is no ordinary elder and chieftain of the tribe, one of a handful of women tribal chieftains in Mindanao.

In her younger years, in 1994, she led the ‘pangayaw’ (tribal war) against the Integrated Forest Management Agreement project of Alcantara and Sons (Alsons) in Talaingod which resulted into bloody and violent clashes between the military and members of the tribe aided by the New People’s Army.

Alsons eventually pulled out of the area.

Bibiyaon said they thought they will be spared violence and harassment by the military in the city.

She was wrong.

Catamco wanted the evacuees to go back home and brought with her government trucks.

But Bibiyaon wants nothing of it.

“I will not go back because things will be the same.  I will face death in the hands of the soldiers and the Alamara,” she said.

Catamco eventually left empty handed.   Not a single soul from the evacuees went with her.

But that was not after acting Davao City Mayor Paolo Duterte arrived and held a dialogue with the evacuees.

He made them choose between going home and staying behind.

They all chose the latter.

 

(In the aftermath, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte derided Rep. Catamco for going beyond her mandate and intruding into the executive function of the local government of Davao City)

 

 

 

 

Phenomenal kid makes smashing pro debut

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Power-hitting Vinz Paras left many in awe after scoring a rousing first round knockout in his first professional boxing fight at the atrium of Robinson’s Place here.

Paras unloaded a barrage of powerful combination forcing his opponent Romeo Garde of Davao City into corner.

An amateur standout who cannot wait to turn pro, Paras displayed ring class by throwing an array of punches that pinned Garde in the ropes near the latter’s corner.

Garde, who made the mistake of trading punches with Paras, absorbed punishing body punches that scarily sent him down in the canvass for more than 5 minutes.

It was over in 1:31 seconds in the first round.

Vince Paras, left, digs to the body of Romeo Garde.  Paras went on to score a 1st round knockout victory over Garde in General Santos City Saturday evening.FOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO
Vince Paras, left, digs to the body of Romeo Garde. Paras went on to score a 1st round knockout victory over Garde in General Santos City Saturday evening.FOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO

Mayor Jojo Lopez of Maasim town in Sarangani, who took the 18-year old Paras under his wing, said he was ‘disappointed’ the fight ended too quickly.

But he was all praises for his new ward.

Paras caught the attention of television networks when he was billed as the next big thing in General Santos City boxing.

He was featured by the British Broadcasting Corporation and GMA News’ Jessica Soho in run-up coverage to the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algeiri fight last year.

In the main event, local boxing sensation Jake Bornea knocked out Richard Rosales in the 4th round to capture the vacant World Boxing Organization Asia Pacific flyweight title.

Bornea improved to 10-1 with 5 knockout victories.

Promising Gensan pugilist Jake Bornea (left) scored a 4th KO win over Richard Rosales to capture the WBO Asia Pacific flyweight crown.FOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO
Promising Gensan pugilist Jake Bornea (left) scored a 4th KO win over Richard Rosales to capture the WBO Asia Pacific flyweight crown.FOTO BY EDWIN ESPEJO

His win made it a double victory as twin brother Jade also scored a six-round unanimous victory over Salatiel Amit of Cebu in the undercard.

In the co-main event, Jelbirt Gomera stopped journeyman Prell Tupas in the 3rd round to remain unbeaten in 8 pro fights and capture the Philippines Boxing Federation super bantamweight title.

John Vincent Moralde made a workmanlike 3-round demolition of William George of Bukidnon for his first fight after his victory over Australian Brayd Smith who died due to head injuries after their match in Queensland Australia last March.

Other results: Junuel Lacar was held to a draw by Jimboy Haya while Jetro Pabustan walked with a decision victory over Virgilo Silvano.

Dominador Diama Jr likewise won over Marjun Pantiligan while Rene Margace stopped Romulo Ramay in the 3rd round.

Joey Antonio scored a majority decision against Lony Cadayday while Mark Bawaan and Holly Quiñones fought to a draw.