The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women denounced in strongest terms the raid of police forces under the PNP Regional Office 7 and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officials on the Lumad Bakwit School at the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus in Cebu City. The raid which was conducted under the pretext of “rescue operation” resulted to the illegal arrest of 26 people including a teacher and 3 lumad elders.
“Kitang-kita sa video na hindi ito isang rescue operation kundi isang porma ng pananakot at pandarahas sa mga lider, guro at mga kabataang lumad,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
“Ito ay tahasang pagyurak ng gobyernong Duterte sa karapatan ng mga lumad na sapilitang lumikas mula sa kanilang mga komunidad dahil sa matinding militarisasyon. Hindi nila kakailanganing manatili sa Cebu at sa iba’t ibang lugar kung hindi sila dinadahas at sapilitang isinasara ang kanilang mga paaralan,” Soriano added. “Lumad schools have been consistent targets of attacks under the Duterte government. More than 170 Lumad schools have been forcibly closed affecting the schooling and violating the right to education of Lumad and peasant youth,” Soriano added.
“The Duterte government has repeatedly failed the lumad and peasant youth of accessible, affordable and quality education as it continues to haunt down Lumad schools despite their efforts to establish schools to reach out to far-flung communities,” Soriano said.
“We stand with the lumad in the call for the immediate release of the 26 persons arrested. We urge the public to support the lumad as they struggle to continue their education amid the pandemic and attacks from the Duterte government. Dapat singilin si Duterte sa patuloy at tumitinding paglabag sa karapatan ng mga lumad, katutubo, magbubukid at ng mamamayan,” Soriano ended. ###
Photo by Kodao Productions