PRESS STATEMENT: Release KMP National Council member Ireneo Udarbe and Lumad leader Datu Jomorito Goaynon

January 29, 2019

NEWS RELEASE

Release KMP National Council member Ireneo Udarbe and Lumad leader Datu Jomorito Goaynon

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) demands the immediate release of peasant leader Ireneo Udarbe, KMP national council member and chairperson of KMP-Northern Mindanao Region and Lumad leader Datu Jomorito Goaynon, chairperson of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization.

They were surfaced and presented this afternoon in a press conference by the Philippine National Police Region 10 as top New People’s Army (NPA) members. The two were arrested yesterday in Brgy. Patag, Cagayan de Oro City by joint elements of PNP Region 10 and Armed Forces of the Philippines based on a warrant issued by Judge Emmanuel Pasal of RTC Branch 38 in Cagayan de Oro City. They were charged with fabricated criminal charges of four counts of attempted murder, frustrated murder, illegal possession of firearms and explosives. They will undergo inquest proceedings.

Last night, KMP Northern Mindanao announced that the two have gone missing since yesterday morning, January 28, at around 11AM. According to KMP-NMR, the two left their office in Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City at past 10AM to meet Pig-uyonan, a member organization of Kalumbay. Their last communication to a staff of Kalumbay was around 11AM to inform that they were stuck in traffic on the way to their meeting place. The two never got to their meeting place in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. None of their relatives or friends have seen or heard from them afterwards. The two were supposed to meet Pig-uyonan in preparation for a dialogue with the 65th Infantry Battalion, facilitated by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Prior to their arrest, the two activist leaders were harassed and red tagged by the AFP. On January 22, 2018, Pig-uyonan and Datu Jomorito filed a complaint against the 65th IBPA for harassment and forced surrender. A tarpaulin bearing the photo of Datu Jomorito redtagging and accusing him of recruiting Lumad as NPA fighters was also posted in Talakag, Bukidnon.

KMP secretary general Antonio Flores denounced the illegal arrest and detention of Udarbe and Goaynon. The two are on bail after they were arrested along with 11 other activists in General Santos City based on trumped-up criminal charges last July 2018. They are scheduled to attend a court hearing on February 15, 2019.

The two activist leaders are spearheading peasant and indigenous people’s campaigns against militarization and human rights violation in Northern Mindanao region. Last May 2018, Udarbe joined farmers and Lumad organizations against the 8th and 88th IBPA. They also joined the International Fact Finding Mission on the atrocities of Martial Law in Mindanao last April 2018.

Under Martial Law, the Duterte regime’s state security forces are committing grave and blatant violations of the people’s socio-economic and cultural rights, civil and political rights, and the rights of persons in the midst of armed conflict in Northern Mindanao.

“There is blanket repression that target entire rural communities and zero-in on individuals affiliated to various people’s organization,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.

Violations of rights of the people of Northern Mindanao, especially farmers and national minorities, are committed by state forces with the direct motive of silencing their struggle for land, ancestral domain and right to self-determination. Military force and deployment in communities are clearly used to pursue the interests of corporate plantations and other forms of environmental plunder. ###

Source: Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Norther Mindanao Region facebook page

Date: January 29, 2019