“Kung ilagay na lang ni Pang. Duterte ang 100,000 niya sa pag-aayos ng MRT o sa serbisyo publiko o rehabilitasyon sa Marawi, baka mas makatulong pa siya,” (Pres. Duterte should just allocate the P100,000 to fix the MRT, Marawi rehabilitation or to social services – he might be able to actually help [people]) Sandugo co-chair Jerome Succor Aba said today in response to Pres. Duterte’s raise of reward to Lumad for every NPA killed.
“Dahil kahit magkano pa ang gawin niyang reward, hindi yan tatanggapin ng mga Lumad,” (Because no matter how much that reward is, the Lumad will still to reject it) Aba said. “Such pronouncements from the President add insult to indigenous peoples’ historic injuries. They have long been living in poverty, discrimination and government neglect. Now, the Pres. Duterte wants to shower them with money to bribe them to kill,” Aba said
“It is not the NPA’s, nor the insurgency that is the problem in our ancestral lands and territories but the big companies who wants to encroach in our land and plunder its resources, the Duterte regime for selling out the nation’s sovereignty and the terror of human rights violations that comes along with it,” Aba said. “The existence of New People’s Army is only the effect of the long running fundamental problems of landlessness, poverty and oppression. The Filipino people, including the national minorities, are pushed to wage a war in their hunger to change their situation,” Aba said.
“If this government wants to rid of the war without much expenditures, Pres. Duterte should go back to the negotiating table. He should instead channel government resources to basic social services, free education and land reform and national industrialization,” Aba said. “That’s where the nation’s coffers should go to – not to kill people,” Aba concluded. ###