Solon to military: We won’t take any Lumad attacks sitting down
Any attacks against Lumads will not be tolerated, a progressive lawmaker warned police and military elements on Sunday.
“We will not take any attacks on the Lumads sitting down,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a statement referring to groups with plans to “harass” the Lumad “bakwits” or evacuees and their children now encamped at the University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman.
According to Zarate, they received information from sources inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday that there are “AFP elements or agents who are tasked to go in UP to get the kids and ask them to go back in Mindanao.”
The lawmaker recalled that in 2015, the military and police also harassed Lumad bakwits who sought sanctuary at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Compound in Davao City and threatened to “set the evacuation center on fire.”
“Ginawa na ito ng AFP, paramilitar at ng ibang grupo noon sa UCCP Haran at ngayon ay plano na naman nilang ulitin,” the solon added.
(The AFP, paramilitary and other groups also did this before in UCCP Haran and now they are planning to do it again.)
“Hindi ba nila nakikita na gusto lang ipaalam ng mga Lumad sa mas maraming mga kababayan natin kung ano ang tunay na sitwasyon sa kanilang mga tirahan kaya sila nandito?” he added.
(Don’t they see the Lumad are here because they only wanted to let the public know of their real situation back home?)
Amidst the continuing threats against their schools in Mindanao, 109 displaced students of Lumad schools who joined the “Kampuhan” will continue their alternative classes in UP, said Save Our Schools Network — a group supporting Lumad schools — in a statement on Aug. 7.
In a press conference after his second State of the Nation Address on July 24, President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to bomb Lumad schools he accused of “operating illegally and teaching subversion and communism.”
Duterte’s threat later drew flak from different groups, prodding him to retract his statement.
He later clarified his statements, saying that he only wanted to save them from growing up as another “generation of haters.”
Bayan Muna, Zarate said, would raise the issue in the ongoing national budget deliberations, especially on the military and police allocations.
“We are calling on Pres. Duterte to rein in his militarist dogs and let the Lumads air their grievances here in Metro Manila,” the lawmaker said.
“Pinalayas na nga sila ng militar sa mga tirahan at kabuhayan nila, ganun pa din ang gagawin sa kanila dito,” he added.
(They were already displaced from their homes and livelihood by the military, and yet they still do the same thing to the Lumads here.) JE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.