As way of gratitude, ‘Lumads’ plant trees at UP Diliman
Hundreds of “Lumads” participating in the “Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015” planted Narra trees at their campout site at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City on Friday morning.
Dubbed as “Madaku Han Salamat,” the tree planting activity was a way of showing gratitude by the Lumads to the UP community for accepting them in their university.
“Ang simbolikong pagtatanim ng mga punongkahoy ay ang pasasalamat namin dito sa UP sa buong-pusong pagtanggap sa amin,” Jong Monzon, secretary general of Pasakkaday Salugpongan Kalimuddan said.
(The symbol of planting trees is our way of showing gratitude to UP for accepting us wholeheartedly.)
Last Monday, around 700 Lumads or indigenous people from 18 tribes in Mindanao arrived in Manila and camped out on UP grounds as part of the caravan protest against violence in their tribal communities allegedly perpetrated by paramilitary groups allegedly backed by the military.
Monzon said around 4000 Lumads remained sheltered in evacuation centers in Mindanao due to the presence of paramilitary groups and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their tribal communities.
The Lumads called on the Aquino administration to pullout the presence of military forces in their tribal communities and disarm the paramilitary forces amid the killings of Lumad tribal leaders.
“Patuloy po yung militarization sa aming lugar. Inaarmasan nila at binigbiyan nila ng pera ang mga paramilitary para kami ay pagpapatayin,” Monzon said.
(Militarization in our communities continues. They arm and give money to the paramilitary in order to kill us.)
He said the group would move to the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to continue their protest caravan until the government addresses their concerns.
“Wala pa pong sagot ang ating pamahalaan na mabigyang sagot ang aming mga panawagan,” he said.
(The government has yet to give an answer to our plea.) RAM
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