I oppose the candidacy of Rodrigo Duterte because of his views — and actions — that are inimical to human rights. I oppose the candidacy of the dictator’s son, who still pines for the bloody paradise of his father.
“If you allow them to oppress your fellow man and you do not speak up, you will be the next one to be oppressed.”
Aquino repeated the famous quotes of Martin Niemoller, a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken critic of Hitler and spent the last years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
“First they came for the communists, but I did not speak out because I was not a communist… finally they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me.”
Let me jog your memory, Mr. President. What did your government do while soldiers and para-military forces hounded Lumad to death in Mindanao?
When the Lumad sought sanctuary in Davao, your Liberal Party colleague tried to force their “rescue”.
Your Armed Forces earned a sharp dressing down from a UN expert when they tried to manipulate his words and the truth (yes, pretty much Goebbels-style, right?)
You snubbed the Lumad when they came to the capital to call attention to their plight.
Yet your allies in Congress and your AFP brass — and your national security office in Malacanang — hosted pet datus as they preached their belief that anyone with “alien” ideology was fair game for murder.
Nobody came to the aid of 15-year old Manobo boy from Sitio Mando, Barangay Mendis, Pangantucan, Bukidnon.
He didn’t just hear of the murders of his kin, Mr. President. He actually begged soldiers to spare their lives, appealing that his father, brothers and cousins be jailed if, indeed, they had done anything wrong. His father was 70 and blind; his brothers 20 and 19 years old. One of his cousins was 13 years old; the other was 17.
He begged the soldiers, Mr. President. And they shot father, brothers and cousins, one by one.
Remember them, Sir?
On September 1, in Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao Sur, the head teacher of a lumad alternative school was found murdered.
Emerito Samarca’s students at the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) discovered his body. The folk at Diatagon had no access to education until private efforts established Alcadev for Manobo, Banwaon, Higanon, Talaandig and Mamanwa youth.
You spurned Alcadev’s students when they were in town late 2014 to protest the militarization of their schools.
A year later, these same children saw Dionel Campos and his cousin Belio Sinzo murdered by paramilitary troops.
The three gentlemen’s crime — providing a safe space for the education of children neglected by government.
No one came to help the hapless Lumad, Mr. President. No one from your government. It took private citizens and people’s organizations and churches to come to their aid.
And don’t you talk of coming to the aid of people suspected of being communists.
There have been more than 300 cases of extra-judicial killings under your administration. Eighty of these involved indigenous people or tribal groups. Almost always, people your government suspects of being communist.
You couldn’t even be bothered over the death of hungry farmers, Mr. President. Spare us your warnings.
We know about tyrants and what they can do to the country.
You speaking on our behalf isn’t just silly and thoughtless as you often are. It is criminal, because it seeks to use legitimate fears to cover-up your government’s attrocities.
Your government kills teachers and children, Mr. President. WE WILL NOT FORGET.
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.
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.
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.
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