“I call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent and impartial probe on the massacre of our tribes people,” Adina Ambang, a Lumad woman and sister of one of the victims of Lake Sebu massacre said today, three days before the whole Christian world is about to celebrate Christmas.
On December 3, seven T’Boli and Dulangan Manobo were killed by elements of the 27th and 33rd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
“My brother, Datu Victor Danyan who was defending our ancestral lands was killed by soldiers,” Ambang said as she filed the complaint. “When the shooting broke out, Datu Victor gathered us, women and children in a safer place. He sent his sons to find out what was happening who were later killed by the soldiers. He chose to come out of the house to see his sons but was also shot at the head,” Ambang recounted.
“I came to Metro Manila which is far from our interior communities in South Cotabato, Mindanao to tell the story of my people and of my slain brother and his sons. We are the Lumad who simply want to take back our land that was taken away by a corporation,” Ambang said.
Datu Victor Danyan led his tribes people to reclaim their ancestral land from David M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI) that displaced the T’boli and Dulangan Manobo in order to plant coffee for Nestle. Around 300 hectares have already taken back and replanted with corn and other sustenance food by Danyan’s tribes people.
“This is what martial law in Mindanao results to — more deaths of indigenous peoples who assert their legitimate rights,” said Piya Macliing Malayao, Sandugo council member and Katribu secretary general. Malayao accompanied Ambang to the CHR. “We urge this Commission to immediately investigate the Lake Sebu carnage and other human rights violations perpetrated by the Duterte government against the national minorities especially in Mindanao,” Malayao said.
“Pres. Duterte’s martial law extension victimizes our communities and people with the brutality of his counter-insurgency program and grave abuses of his soldiers,” Malayao said.
Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination, and Katribu calls on the Pres. Duterte regime to pull out its troops in indigenous peoples communities especially now that he has declared a unilateral ceasefire in the spirit of Christmas.#