October 03, 2018
Kalumbay Lumad Regional Organization condemns the continued threats and harassment of the military to Joseph Paborada, chairperson of Pangalasag. Pangalasag — a Lumad term for “shield” – is a local Lumad Organization in Opol, Misamis Oriental an is a member org of Kalumbay.
Since September this year, elements of 65th IBPA have encamped at the Senior Citizens Office and the Multi-Purpose Hall of Brgy Bagocboc, Opol, Misamis Oriental. Multiple times a week, soldiers visit Joseph and accuse him as a member of the New People’s Army and coerce him to surrender. One time, two soldiers in full battle gear went to his house to conduct a census of household members. As of this writing, the last incident of these “visits” was on October 1.
Pangalasag has been engaged in a fierce battle to reclaim their ancestral land from A. Brown Company which wants to convert the land to a palm oil plantation. Two members of the organization have been killed by suspected goons of the company, including former chairperson Gilbert Paborada, Joseph’s brother. This has been featured in the documentary Gikan Sa Ngitngit nga Kinailadman/From the Dark Depths (2017).
These human rights violations against Joseph and other Pangalasag members intensified with the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, as featured in DEFEND: Stories of Mindanawons in Time of Martial Law (2017). Two days before the International Human Rights Day last year, Joseph and two members received anonymous messages threatening them that if they leave their community, something terrible will happen to them.
These outright violations of Lumad rights by the military is a clear indication that Martial Law is never intended to secure peace in Mindanao. It is a tool by which the State in cahoots with big businesses and landlords use violence against the Lumad and other Mindanawons for the sake of profit.
Datu Jomorito Guaynon
Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization
Source: Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization facebook page
Date: October 03, 2018