Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women and Anakpawis Party-list joined the broadening call for the immediate pull-out of military forces and cessation of abuses perpetrated by the 3rd Special Battalion Force (SBF) of the Philippine Army to the lumad Manobo and Mamanwa indigenous people living in the Andap Valley Complex, Surigao del Sur covering the Lianga town. Groups reiterated its call for justice for the June 15-massacre victims Willy Rodriguez, Lenie Rivas, and Angel Rivas at Barangay Diatagon of the said town. Moreover, it demanded to hold the perpetrators in the military and the Duterte regime accountable for their latest atrocity.
“We join the lumad people for their call to #StopMilitarizationNow at their communities, to prevent another massacre of innocent unarmed civilians and rights abuses perpetrated by the military men. We urge the people to hear their cries and support their assertion of their rights to ancestral lands and self-determination, against land grabbing and displacement, mining operations and other environmentally destructive and unjust economic projects,” exclaimed by Zenaida Soriano, Amihan National Chairperson.
According to Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), the lumad organization of Manobo and Mamanwa in Surigao del Sur, the Duterte regime granted Coal Operating Contracts (COCs) to three companies to conduct operation and extract minerals from their communities. The said companies are (1) Benguet Mining Corporation targeting 12, 000 hectares and owned by Romualdez-Marcos family; (2) Abacus Coal Exploration and Development Corp., targeting 7, 000 hectares and owned by Zamora family; and (3) Great Wall Mining and Power Corporation targeting 5, 000 hectares and owned by a Chinese company.
“Duterte continues his ‘Total War’ Policy in the countryside targeting innocent lumad communities, to serve the interest of the big landlords, local and foreign businesses. He orders the AFP to ensure that mining companies can operate and to repress the resisting Lumad communities. This cycle of injustice must be stopped and bloodbath and dispossession of lands avoided,” Soriano added.
Amihan and Anakpawis called on the democratic sectors to oppose the continuing militarization in Surigao del Sur and other provinces in the country. Ultimately, it urged participation for the June 30- #WakasanNa protest in Manila, against Duterte’s tyrannical rule and killing innocent farmers, peasant women and indigenous people.###