Lumad leader confident Duterte will act on plight of Mindanaoans | Inquirer News
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Lumad leader confident Duterte will act on plight of Mindanaoans

/ 11:33 AM July 26, 2016

The leader of a Lumad group expressed confidence that a Mindanaoan president would prioritize and address the issues hounding the region.

Kerlan Fanagel, chairperson of Pasaka-Southern Mindanao Region, a confederation of Lumad organizations, said President Rodrigo Duterte has always been in solidarity with the plight of Mindanaoans.

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“Alam namin na consistent siya, na naninindigan din siya at sumuporta sa mga pakikibaka at laban naming mga katutubo sa Mindanao,” Fanagel said during the militant rally at Batasan Hills on Monday.

(We know that he is consistent, that he takes a stand and that he supports the fight of the indigenous people in Mindanao.)

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READ: Duterte win brings hope to ‘lumad’

Fanagel, together with about 5,000 other Mindanao natives, traveled all the way to Quezon City to rally in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona).

The group of Mindanaoans is composed of youth, laborers, farmers, Moros and Lumads.

“First time namin lumahok dito sa Sona ng pangulo at unang una, gusto namin mapaabot sa pangulo ang Mindanao People’s Agenda,” he said.

(It’s our first time to take part in the President’s Sona, and, first of all, we want to let our President know of the Mindanao People’s Agenda.)

Fanagel called for the immediate pullout of the military from Lumad communities to halt militarization, which has displaced the indigenous groups.

“Marami pa rin ang nasa [evacuation centers]. Yung mga nandoon sa [evacuation centers] na mula noong mga nakaraang taon hanggang ngayon, nandun pa rin sa evacuation centers,” he said.

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(A lot are still in the evacuation centers. They have been in the evacuation centers since last year.)

He said that these displaced Lumads should be able to return to their homes and given relief and rehabilitation in compensation.

“Patuloy na target ang mga ancestral domains sa usapin ng pandarambong at pagnanakaw ng mga malalaking korporasyong pagmimina, logging at iba pa,” he said, adding that the Mining Act of 1995 and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act should be junked.

(The ancestral domains continue to be targets of corruption and theft by big mining and logging corporations and many others.)

READ: ‘Duterte a supporter of lumad’

The Mindanaoans have been staying at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines for two nights since their arrival. After the Sona, they will stay at the Department of Agrarian Reform until their departure on Thursday. Jaehwa Bernardo and Ma. Czarina Fernandez, INQUIRER.net trainees/CDG/rga

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TAGS: Indigenous people, logging, lumad, Mindanao, Mining, President Rodrigo Duterte
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