Daughter of slain lumad leader to poll candidates: Have a heart for IPs
TAGUM CITY – The daughter of one of the three people killed last year by alleged members of a pro-military tribal militia in Lianga, Surigao del Sur appealed to candidates for national position to look into the plight of indigenous peoples (IPs) or lumad in Mindanao.
Michelle Campos also urged those running as president, vice president and senators to have a “heart” for the lumad.
Campos’ father, Dionel, was shot dead–along with Emerito Samarca, administrator of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) and tribal leader Juvello “Bello” Sinzo–by Magahat-Bagani militiamen in the upland community of Sitio (Sub-village) Han-ayan, Diatagon village, Lianga last Sept. 1.
Rights group Karapatan said the assailants also burned the non-government organization-run school and a cooperative store as soldiers watched by. Over 3,000 people from the Manobo tribe fled out of fear as a result of the violence.
Dionel was the chair of Malahutayong Pakigbasog sa mga Sumusunod (Persevering Struggle for the Next Generation) or Mapasu, an IP organization reportedly opposed to the entry of logging and mining companies in Lianga, but which the military has branded as a communist front.
The younger Campos has asked the national candidates to look into “our suffering and poor living condition” particularly to the thousands displaced by the Sept. 1 incident, many of whom still living in evacuation tents at the provincial capital in Tandag City.
“What can you do to address our pleas for a safe return to our communities?” she asked.
More than five months following the killings, no suspect has been arrested, even as the government dangled a total P3.6 million as bounty for the heads of alleged militia leaders Bobby and Loloy Tejero and Margarito Layno.
“I hope you would hear and heed the call of your people,” the younger Campos said.
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