Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya Condemn US-Duterte Violence

Duterte is Impunity King”

Dubbed as Pambansang Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya, we, members of national minorities, are coming anew to Metro Manila on August 31 until September 21 to condemn the US-Duterte regime and demand justice for the escalating attacks against our communities, tribes, schools.

From different regions nationwide over 3000 of us are bringing to the Philippine capital our calls, which pertain to our right to self-determination: Stop the killings.  Stop the plunder.  Oppose the US-Duterte regime’s attacks against national minorities.  Stand with Marawi.  Stand with the Bangsamoro.

Long before the murder of 17-year old Kian delos Santos in the hands of Duterte’s police, the brutal killings and other forms of violence against national minorities have gone unabated and escalating by the day.

The daily airstrikes in Marawi had led to hundreds of Moros dead.  Devoid of CCTV and media attention,  aerial bombings,  artillery shellings,  indiscriminate firing, assassinations, abductions and torture had struck other Moro communities in Lanao del Sur as well as in Lumad communities in Compostela Valley, the Mamanwas in Agusan del Sur,  the Blaans in Sarangani Province,  also the Tingguians in Abra, the Igorots in the Cordilleras , the Mangyans in Mindoro, the Aetas of Central Luzon, the Dumagats of Rizal, etc.

Whether one is tagged  “durugista” or “terorista”, no one is safe under the reign of Duterte, the Impunity King.   Just over a year into power, his disregard for the  rule of law {”tirahin na ‘yan} resulted in thousands of deaths that makes the Ampatuan massacre pale in comparison, as security forces and vigilante groups are emboldened by his words to kill at will. This is not to mention the ethnocide and genocide against national minorities happening without public’s awareness.

Duterte has come full circle as a fascist thug, and in conspiracy with the US has declared martial law over Mindanao, which could also be extended throughout the country.   This, on top of counter-“insurgency” programs like All-out war and Oplan Kapayapaan that put the national minorities at the center of attacks.

Beneath the attacks is the evil scheme to gain more control over the resource-rich territories and ancestral domain of national minorities.  Duterte’s move to continue the US-instigated neoliberal economic  policies of past regimes ensure this.   Sitting on Moro land are hundreds of thousands of  hectares of pineapple and banana plantations of transnational corporations like Unifrutti, DOLE and Del Monte.   About a hundred thousand hectares more of Moro territory are reserved for the expansion of oil palm plantations.  And giant foreign mining corporations continue to eye over half a million hectares of ancestral land of national minorities throughout the country.

Naturally the planned rehabilitation of Marawi is suspect.  On the former homes of Maranaos that were razed to the ground shall rise businesses, infrastructure and military reservations, while evacuees rot and lose their dreams of ever reclaiming their city, their lives and livelihood.

The US-Duterte regime deserves the condemnation of the national minorities for its mounting crimes against us and the entire Filipino people. We shall not be cowed.  Our Lakbayan unites us with our fellow Filipinos to oppose the attacks not just in our communities but in all poor communities, as we are linked by a bloody trail of extrajudicial killings and other forms of state violence.#

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