National minorities launch campaign against Duterte-AFP’s tyranny

“We are not terrorists but we are ready to resist!” Kerlan Fanagel, a Lumad council member of Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination said today in front of Camp Aguinaldo as their group launched “Pambansang Minorya Laban sa Pasismo at Tiranya” campaign.

“Duterte’s latest act of tyranny is the Department of Justice Petition to proscribe the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups and naming leaders of our organizations and communities as CPP-NPA leaders and members,” Fanagel said. “Not only is this malicious and baseless, it is the complete opposite. It is us, the national minorities who are being terrorized by the Duterte government.  In our island of Mindanao, where martial law exists, we suffer the  horrors of barefaced State terror such as political killings and massacres, bombing of our communities, filing of trumped up charges against us, curfews and lock downs,” Fanagel added.

“Under Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao, at least 66 victims of political killings  happened, most of whom are Lumad and peasants. This include the Lake Sebu massacre where seven Dulangan Manobo and T’boli were killed by the 33rd  Infantry Battalion,” Fanagel said.

“Displacements continue to happen even after the Marawi siege. About half a million mostly Maranaos were displaced in Marawi and 150,000 Maguindanaons  forcibly evacuated due to AFP’s air strikes. At least 1,200 Blaans were displaced in Matanao, Davao del Sur and 2,000 Manobo in Lianga, Suriagao del Sur due to intensified military operations,” Fanagel reported.

“89 Lumad schools are affected by Duterte-AFP’s attacks, disturbing the education of more than a thousand Lumad students and volunteer teachers,” Fanagel said.

“In Caraga region alone, at least 200 individuals mostly community development workers in with Lumad communities face trumped up charges,” Fanagel added.

“All over the country, national minorities are subjected to human rights violations. Aeta leaders from Central Luzon were harassed by military elements which caused trauma to them and their families. In the Cordilleras, women human rights defenders were forced to face trumped up charges filed also by the military.  Leader of Ifugao Peasant Movement Ricardo Mayumi was shot last March 2,” Fanagel said.

“All of this will lead to our genocide. Pres. Duterte is killing us to silence us and ultimately wipe out any form of dissent. This is what a dictator does. While he is trying to centralize his power for a longer period of time, he uses all his machinery to silence his critic. And the only way to stop this is through people’s resistance,” Fanagel said.

During the protest, the Lumad datus and other IP leaders hailed chants in their own dialects as they stepped on the photos of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and his generals  to manifest their outrage against the Duterte’s reign of terror. “This action marks  the signal fire of series of actions by national minorities to resist  the continuing brutal repression of our legitimate struggles and the tyrannical rule of the US-Duterte regime,” Fanagel ended. ###

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