Some indigenous people (IP) from Mindanao assembled in front of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the University of the Philippines in Quezon City on Monday, October 29, 2018, to express strong opposition against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Representatives from several ethnic groups cited the CPP-NPA’s atrocities against the IPs, including rape, extortion through the collection of revolutionary taxes, and land grabbing of their ancestral domains.
An IP, claiming he was then an NPA recruit, said that it was the CPP-NPA that brought rifts among the Lumads.
“Dati maganda ang relasyon ng mga Lumad, sinira ng CPP,” Gary Tejero said.
Another IP called for the continuance of martial law in Mindanao as a deterrent to the CPP-NPA.
In May 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law, following the bloody Marawi siege. It was extended until December 2018 due to the danger that uprising could spread in other parts of Mindanao.
“Yong martial law sana i-extend ni President Rodrigo Duterte kasi sa Lianga, Surigao del Sur, maraming sparrow roon na gusto akong patayin,” said Jomar Bucales, a Manobo.
The condemnation rally was in line with the country’s observation of the National Indigenous People’s month and was part of the Indigenous People Alliance Against Terrorism’s (IPAAT) five-day rally in Metro Manila.
On Oct. 26, around 500 members of the IPAATs joined a march with similar advocacy in Makati City. (Source: Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA)