Manila, Philippines – The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women urged peasant women across the country and other sectors to denounce the latest political attack against Bayan Muna lawmaker and lumad leader Eufemia Cullamat, with the Surigao del Sur’s provincial council approving a resolution declaring her as persona non grata or an unwelcomed person. The group firmly believed that this is a brainchild of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and National Task Force to End Local Communist Task Force (NTF-ELCAC), as the staunch indigenous people’s rights defender questioned the former’s budget at a hearing at the House of Representatives. NCIP Chairperson Allen Capuyan is the Executive Director of NTF ELCAC who is notorious in red-tagging indigenous people’s activists, thus, his position reeks of “conflict of interest.”

“This is a fascist reprisal against Ka Femia’s noble undertaking of her mandate to defend indigenous people’s rights. Capuyan’s chairpersonship is indeed a conflict of interest as he is a counter-insurgency and fascist bureaucrat and immediately biased against indigenous people’s activists who are staunch defenders of their right to ancestral lands and self-determination, and democratic rights. This is an immoral act on top of another,” exclaimed Zenaida Soriano, Amihan National Chairperson.

Prior to being a lawmaker, Cullamat was popularly known as an effective lumad-Manobo leader in their campaign against mining and other projects in Surigao del Sur. At present, she advocates the rights of indigenous peoples from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao within the walls of the legislative branch, thus, her serious questioning of the NCIP budget.

“We urge the House leadership to immediately act on the fascist and undemocratic resolution. It is a violation of the legislative mandate of the institution. We also urge the people to defend Ka Femia from this political attack and totally denounce the fascist NCIP and NTF ELCAC,” she ended. ###

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