“We hold Pres. Rodrigo Duterte responsible for the state terror against the national minorities,” Datu Jerome Succor Aba, co-chair of Sandugo Movement of Moro and indigenous peoples for Self-Determination, said today with the recent incidents of arrests and harassments of Duterte’s state forces to the national minorities.
It was during the Second Sandugo National Assembly, as part of the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya, last September 2017 when the alliance declared President Rodrigo Duterte to be “a fascist and a US puppet”. Pres. Duterte was indicted for the “crimes against the national minorities,” Sandugo said.
“After exposing Duterte’s fascist attacks during the month-long Lakbayan in Metro Manila, we national minorities continue to face state terror with series of harassments and illegal arrests,” Aba said.
On October 27, Julito Otacan, a 2017 Lakbayani from the Banwaon tribe in Brgy. Balit, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, together with Alejandro Barluado, Jonas Acosta, Noli Tahudan, Marlon Talatayod, and Joel Trasona were illegally arrested by the 26th Infantry Battalion. As of this writing, Sandugo received initial reports of mass arrest in Brgy. Balit after the arrest of Otacan.
On October 28, Chairperson of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Windel Bolinget from the Bontok-Kankanaey tribe and national council member of Sandugo and was harassed together with Xavier Akin, CPA Vice-
Chairperson and a staff of the Center for Development Programs in Cordillera. They were held twice by the PNP for several hours at Tirad Pass along Santiago-Quirino Road and at Lidia, Ilocos Sur.
“Kung hindi binobomba ang aming mga komunidad, inaaresto o hinaharas o kaya ay pinapatay ang mga lider namin (If our communities are not bombed, our leaders are harassed, arrested or even killed),” Aba said. Last September 16, members of the 84th Infantry Battalion dropped bombs in communities of Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya which lead to the evacuation of 133 families from barangays of Kakiduguen, Dine, and Biyoy. Days after, five residents, including a minor were illegally arrested in Brgy. Mabuslo Bambang.
Sandugo denounced Duterte regimes’ continuing attacks. “We demand Pres. Duterte to stop the terror against the national minorities and the rest of the marginalized Filipinos,” Aba said.
“We all know the fate of fascist tyrants – they become dictators then face the wrath of the people to be overthrown,” Aba ended. ###