Remember the word, “Salvage”? Lumad ‘goddess’ gives “rescue” a different spin


A profile image on Rep. Nancy Catamco's page
A profile image on Rep. Nancy Catamco’s page
North Cotabato 2nd district Rep. Nancy Catamco calls herself a “Diwata” — a goddess — of Mindanao’s lumad peoples. On Facebook, her press releases rhapsodise about how people love her, weep to see her.

To the threatened indigenous people of Davao del Norte and surrounding provinces, however, Catamco is a traitor. The chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Indigenous Peoples, Catamco, has launched a unique campaign to “rescue” internal refugees — by delivering them to their tormentors.

'Saving the Lumad' Cops summoned to Davao City by the Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Indigenous Peoples to "rescue" lumad fleeing military abuses in their mountain communities injured 15 of the displaced folk and destroyed a number of temporary shelters. (Photo by Karlo Manlupig)
‘Saving the Lumad’ Cops summoned to Davao City by the Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Indigenous Peoples to “rescue” lumad fleeing military abuses in their mountain communities injured 15 of the displaced folk and destroyed a number of temporary shelters. (Photo by Karlo Manlupig)
Catamco, cops, and the Alamara paramilitary group stormed on July 23 the Haran Mission House in Davao City of United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP).

The sprawling compound has served for 21 years as sanctuary for lumad fleeing military abuses in Talaingod and Kapalong towns, Davao del Norte.

Fifteen refugees were hurt when truncheon-wielding cops forced down the gate of the UCCP Haran compound and destroyed the temporary shelters of IP folk. Lumad resistance and the intervention of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte prevented greater violence.

WATCH VIDEO: Catamco instigates police attack on lumad refugees (with permission by kilab Multimedia Productions)

Catamco was in the thick of the disturbance, the third incident since she started visiting lumad refugees, on invitation of the Save Our Schools network.

‘BRUTAL’ BEHAVIOR

The UCCP bishops condemned “the illegal and violent conduct,” including the “brutal” beating of pastors by cops with truncheons and steel shields.

“We are outraged at this show of excessive force more so because the PNP did not have any warrant to enter and search the Church facility, which is a private property,” the UCCP said at a pressconference.

Church leaders accused Catamco of failing to heed the demands of the Ata-Manobo for an end to military presence near their schools and homes.

She even came with the Alamara, a para-military group whose existence she earlier dismissed.

No less than the refugee parents of the Alamara forces confirmed their identities and affiliation. Among the Alamara members was Perut Malibato of Sitio Patel, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

FAMILY DIVIDED: t was a tearful reunion between ALAMARA member Perut and his refugee lumad parents, Celia and Anayak. They refused to go home.
FAMILY DIVIDED: t was a tearful reunion between ALAMARA member Perut and his refugee lumad parents, Celia and Anayak. They refused to go home.

It was a tearful reunion between Perut and his parents, Celia and Anayak, and younger brother, Alvin.

Refugee leaders allowed Perut to talk with his family. He tried to convince them to return. They refused, reiterating the condition that earlier angered Catamco – they would return only if systems of reforms guarantee a halt to military abuses.

On her first visit, lumad – thinking Catamco was an ally of militant lawmakers who had publicized their plight – gave her a warm welcome.

The atmosphere turned stormy on the second day of dialogue, when she started insulting lumad leaders, demanding their immediate return to Talaingod and Kapalong.

WATCH VIDEO: YOU WANT TO DIE HERE?

Accusing Catamco and cops of bad faith, UCCP said: “Just a few hours prior to the violent incident, the Church facilitated a dialogue with DSWD and NCIP, and came up with resolutions that they would just attend to the needs of the women and children. But even while the resolution was being firmed out, the PNP terrorized the evacuees with their presence in full riot gear, the presence of paramilitary group ALAMARA, demolition team, fire trucks and military trucks, and then proceeded to destroy the gate and forcibly entered the church premises.”

The lumad and their supporters were ready for the storm because Catamco had earlier vowed she would make sure they returned to their mountain villages.

Her first encounter with the lumad at Haran was friendly. After a brief meeting in the company of Makabayan lawmakers, Catamco had promised to come back with officials of the Department of Social Word and Development, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on Human Rights.

But she also arrived with Army generals, the very sector that lumad blame for their plight.

It was in the aftermath of that round when Catamco hurled her first vow to force the lumad back home — where members of their tribe had been murdered, arrested, ambushed and where soldiers have taken over the only schools that have served the needs of lumad children.

Catamco pretends these charges are being exaggerated. Well, WATCH THIS.

The incident happened last year, prompting an evacuation of lumad. Catamco berated the lumad for repeated evacuation. But the reason for that is, because the military has continued to harass schools and communities despite an agreement forged during a past dialogue.

Catamco, the diwata, loves to hear her voice and only her voice. When she doesn’t get her way immediately, she stages a tantrum. She threatens.

On Thursday, she acted on that threat. Tough luck for her, their travails have taught lumad the art of resistance. She was sent on her way, her goddess’ train limp between her legs.

Read more about THE LUMAD GODDESS BETRAYING HER OWN PEOPLE, as the lumad claim she did, on abs-cbnnews.com

3 thoughts on “Remember the word, “Salvage”? Lumad ‘goddess’ gives “rescue” a different spin

  1. I am calling the diwatas of water, fire, air, and earth the elder diwatas, once again our name is drag in this sad event. A mere human from middle earth is calling herself a diwata and using such sacred name to punish innocent humans especially the young ones. We the diwata of nature and of the animals are greatly trubled with her actions. She a human can hurt her own kind without remorse and keep defending her actions by dragging our name. If she is a diwata then why is she not acting according to her responsibilities? As a diwata we are custodians to what we need to protect and above all we should respect what we are protecting for we are bond to them. They are our life blood and without them we will cease to exist. By her actions she showed as that there is not even a single drop of blood of a diwata within her. We call the attention of all humans to punish such wicked woman. Banish her from your land. We the diwatas are mere custodians but if what we are protecting is threatened then we will not turn a blind eye. Heed our words! We do not take this incident lightly too. Our name is sacred.

    Liked by 1 person

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