President Aquino's mining endorsement result in attacks on IPs

Christine Joice C. Cudis,
Date of publication: 
25 July, 2015

GABRIELA Representative Luzviminda Ilagan has claimed in a statement that since President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement of the large-scale mining operations in the Philippines, the attacks on Indigenous People transpired.

“The lumads want to go home but their lands have been transformed into killing fields under Aquino’s (President Benigno Aquino, III) five-year rule,” Ilagan said.

Ilagan’s statement came following the Philippine National Police’s reported violent acts on their attempt to forcibly send the lumad evacuees to their designated communities.

“Forcing lumads to go back to militarized communities is a death sentence,” Ilagan added.

The lumads already addressed to the government what they want — to come back to their homes; till their lands freely; and educate their children. But that seems impossible for them with the military lurking around.

“The Lumads cannot return to their ancestral lands for as long as the military insists on occupying their communities and schools,” she said.

Around 500 policemen with the assistance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines barged into the refugee camp of the lumads Thursday to evict them from the evacuation center and return them to their areas.

At least 15 lumad evacuees were injured due to the attack.

“Gina-question namo nganong ing-ani, dad-an mi og mga pulis nga ang amo ramang hangyo nga i-pull out ang mga kasundaluhan nga gapundo didto sa [among komunidad], hilabi na sa among eskwelahan (Why would they bring the police when all we wanted was to pull out the soldiers from our communities and schools),” Datu Jimboy Mandaguit said.

Ilagan added, “If (North Cotabato) Representative Nancy Catamco really wants to help the Lumads, she should start forcing the military out of ancestral lands, along with all the mining equipment owned by multinationals that the AFP vowed to protect.”