Manilakbayan ng Mindanao : Justice for the Lumads and their Lands

Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita , Manila-Philippines

ethnic lumads proudly wore their native dress in protest

It is blazing very hot and humid when we conducted another round of Royal Postal Heritage Tour around the historic Liwasang Bonifacio in Ermita within the historical and heritage district of Manila.

tribal photos and artifacts on display

We seldom got requests to conduct tour around the first sunday of the month . But this time , We got around a dozen people ( mostly students conducting their thesis writing project ) . I think it was the postponement of last month tour due to Typhoon Koppu ( Bagyong Lando ) that might have cause the spill over .  Unfortunately,  some of the students did not manage to come on their appointed time and day.

There were several hundreds of people , NGO groups, progressive party lists, heritage advocates and some government attached agencies ( NCCA)  at the Liwasang Bonifacio.

L-R Mr. John Paul Orallo, Ms. Bernadette David, Ms. Adelina M. Suemith (OIC- Executive Director NCCA ) Ms. Ay and Ms. Charisse Aquino-Tugalde ( Culture Aid Inc.)

I saw some familiar faces and NGO groups which were there at the historic plaza and took some time to read some of the leaflets .  According to one of the organizers of the peaceful camping and rally , they were given until November 12 by the local government.

Mr. Ryan Ang ( Kapatid TV channel 5 ) and Mr. Abner Mercado ( ABS-CBN channel 2)

Happy that bloggers and social media personalities are there to lend their support . I also saw television crews and reporter from ABS-CBN channel 2 and TV channel 5

Here are some of the Hidden Facts:

250 + leaders of communities and organizations are facing false criminal charges to silence their advocacies.

87 indigenous Lumads schools in Mindanao are suffering from various forms of military attack.

9 out of 10 Lumad children have no access to formal schooling .

20+ Indigenous paramilitary groups called Alamara, Magahat , Tribal Warriors , Bagani Force, BULIF , NIPAR, Black Diamond, Munggos , Delamance, etc… are unleashed by the AFP to sow division and terror in Lumad communities.

144 indigenous defenders , human rights activists in Mindanao have been victims of extra -judicial killings.

40,000+ Lumads have been forcibly displaced from ancestral domains due to militarization.

233 documented cases of human rights violations perpetrated against Lumad children.

1,000+ Lumad children have been affected  by the closure order of 3 community schools by the government despite the shortage of schools, classrooms and teachers in the Philippines

Note : I must say that until now , one of staunch environment advocate Mr. Leonard Co who died a few years ago in Leyte case still languish without real perpetrators being punish.

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