Senate, House probe sought on shooting incident in Ka Leody’s visit to Bukidnon
MANILA, Philippines — Separate inquiries on the recent shooting incident in Bukidnon involving presidential candidate Ka Leody De Guzman are being pushed in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday filed Senate Resolution No. 999 urging the proper upper chamber committee to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the shooting incident which stemmed from a land dispute involving the Manobo-Pulangihon tribe’s ancestral domain in Bukidnon.
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To recall, De Guzman was meeting members of the Manobo-Pulangihon indigenous tribe, who were allegedly displaced from their lands, when the security personnel of a pineapple plantation fired at them. While De Guzman was not hurt during the incident, five individuals sustained injuries.
“Land disputes have been a longstanding issue in our country that often end in violence,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Paulit-ulit ang ganitong mga insidente dahil wala tayong maayos na polisiya na tuluyang magwawakas sa karahasan, lalo na laban sa ating katutubo. It’s time we have proper legislation that can address this,” the senator added.
(Incidents like these keep on happening because we do not have proper policy that will end harassment, especially towards our indigenous groups.)
Hontiveros said indigenous groups are the most vulnerable sectors in the country that should be protected.
“Huwag nating hayaang dahas ang katapat ng kanilang mapayapang paggiit ng karapatan sa kanilang lupang ninuno. Let’s not forget that there is always an option to work towards a peaceful resolution,” Hontiveros said.
(Let’s not allow violence to stop their peaceful fight for their ancestral lands.)
The Senate resolution states that the shooting incident stemmed from a dispute involving the Manobo-Pulangihon tribe’s ancestral domain claims over a 995-hectare agricultural estate also covered by a Forest Land Grazing Management Agreement (FLGMA) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
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Hontiveros, however, pointed out that the FLGMA already expired in 2018.
“Bakit nandoon pa ang security personnel sa lupang iyon kung nag-expire na ang FLGMA noong 2018? Talagang hindi na makatao ang pagtrato sa ating mga katutubo,” Hontiveros said.
(Why are security personnel on that land when FLGMA expired in 2018? Their treatment of our indigenous groups was really inhumane.)
“Pilipino din sila na dapat kapantay ng lahat ng mamamayan. Dapat sama-sama nating kinokondena ang ganitong pang-aapi at pang-aabuso. May responsibilidad tayong tiyakin na bawat Pilipino ay namumuhay sa ating bansa ng mapayapa,” she added.
(They are also Filipinos. We should condemn this kind of abuse towards them altogether. We have a responsibility to ensure that every Filipino lives in the country in peace.)
Meanwhile, a separate resolution was filed in the House calling for an investigation on the shooting incident.
The resolution—which was filed by Bayan Muna Reps. Eufemia Cullamat, Carlos Zarate, and Ferdinand Gaite—urges the House committee on human rights to handle the investigation on the shooting incident.
“The violence and the attacks against the indigenous people have been ongoing with impunity for quite some time now without resolution and proper intervention by the government,” the House lawmakers said in the resolution.
“The recent shooting incident that includes the party of Ka Leody De Guzman is emblematic of how our justice system continues to fail them, an act which members of Congress should not countenance,” they added.
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