‘Yaya Dub misinformed in supporting lumad,’ says AFP general
A military official believes that TV and Internet sensation Maine Mendoza, also known as “Yaya Dub,” and other celebrities were ill-advised in throwing their support behind “lumad” groups who are protesting the presence of government troops in their ancestral lands.
“On the social media (statements on the lumad issue), Aiza Seguerra, Maine Mendoza do not know the real story. If only they knew, they would have reservations,” Brig. Gen. Joselito E. Kakilala, civil relations officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, told reporters Thursday after a hearing of the House committee on indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples.
A photo of Mendoza holding a piece of paper with a handwritten sign that reads “We Stand with Lumads #SaveOurSchools” has gone viral recently, drawing attention to lumad protests in Metro Manila that started last month. The lumad’s Manilak bayan 2015 protest caravan decries the killing of tribal leaders allegedly perpetrated by government agents, as well as large-scale mining projects and plantations in their ancestral domain.
Other artists and show biz personalities who have expressed support for the lumad on social media were Angel Locsin, Luis Manzano, Bayang Barrios and Mendoza’s “Eat Bulaga” costar Wally Bayola. Mendoza’s brother-in-law is reportedly part of a group that organized Manilakbayan.
“They are misinformed,” Kakilala said. “The Manilakbayan lumad appealed for their support, so they were used. But if they know the real story, I’m sure they will not agree to being used.”
“I’m really surprised at the lumad who joined Manilakbayan and why they want to repeal the IPRA (Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act). That law may not be perfect but it will empower the lumad for their economic and social and cultural developments,” the AFP official added.
Kakilala denied that the military was out to inflict harm on the lumad, stressing that soldiers were on their lands to keep the peace after communist rebels in the area sparked ‘rido’ or tribal wars.
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