Lumads demand lifting of martial law in Mindanao

ALWEN SALIRING October 24, 2018

FARMERS and Lumad organizations in Northern Mindanao are no longer expecting that the government would act on their demands as they converged on Tuesday, October 23, to call the Duterte administration to lift martial law in the island.

Around 5,000 agricultural workers, lumad groups, human rights advocates and other progressive organizations swarmed into the streets of Cagayan de Oro City to call for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao. 

The Northern Mindanao delegate of the “Mindanao Lakbayan” converged to

condemn and denounce scores of rights violations allegedly perpetrated by the government security forces.

“The Mindanao Day of Protest Against Martial Law aims to expose the human rights violations against the people and the legitimate people’s organizations including filing of trumped-up charges, harassment and intimidation and extra-judicial killings,” Fr. Alejandro Abejo of the Movement Against Tyranny in Northern Mindanao (MAT-NMR) said.

“President Rodrigo Duterte aims to silence the people’s clamor for genuine social and economic reforms by branding legitimate organizations as ‘enemies of the state’ and giving license to the police, military and the courts to go after the opposition using flimsy excuses and wrongful accusations,” he added.

Prior to Tuesday’s demonstration, progressive groups simultaneously held picket rallies outside the four regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Datu Jomorito Goaynon, chairman of the regional lumad group Kalumbay, said officials of these agencies accommodated the protesters through a dialogue except the NCIP which just ignored the rallyists.

But, Goaynon said they will no longer expect that their issues will be addressed as these agencies failed to fulfill their promises based on their experience.

“Ilang ingon nga aksyonan nila ang among mga reklamo ug mga issues pero dili nami magdahom kay basi sa kasinatian wala gyud nila matuman ilang mga pasalig,” Goaynon said.

(They said they will act on our complaints and issues but we are not expecting anymore since based on our experience they have not fulfilled their promises)

Progressive groups yesterday burned an effigy of Duterte called “Duter-de-Gera” which for them symbolizes the Duterte administration’s disrespect to human rights and his all-out war which victimizes innocent civilians in Mindanao.

“Ang effigy nagpakita sa pagwalay-pagtahod sa tawhanong katungod ug sa hisgutanang all-out war nga gilunsad sa Mindanao kung asa mga biktima mga lumad, mag-uuma ug inosenting sibilyan,” Goaynon said.

(The effigy depicts the disregard for human rights on the issue of all-out war launcehed in Mindanao where the victims are lumad, farmers and innocent civilians)

Source: Sunstar CdO

Date: October 24, 2018