Nov 13 at 11:13 AM

BS Aquino and the AFP has Intensified Its Attack Against the Lumad
People to Secure Coal Mining Operations in Surigao del Sur

11 November 2015

The Lumad people of Surigao del Sur strongly condemn the deployment of
more military troops to Surigao del Sur. Such action shows utter lack of
compassion for us victims of military abuses as we continue to grieve
for our dead and suffer in the evacuation center. The 2nd Special Forces
Battalion of the AFP has just been transferred from the Visayas to
Surigao del Sur and is currently based in San Miguel. There are now 5
AFP battalions deployed in the 7 municipalities within and surrounding
the Andap Valley Complex: the 36th IBPA, 75th IBPA, 7th, 9th and 2nd
Special Forces Battalion of the AFP. They are concentrating their
military operations in the Lumad and peasant communities located within
coal rich Andap Valley Complex.

We have been demanding the pull-out of military troops from our
communities and the relief and investigation of commanding officers of
military units involved in the massacre of MAPASU chairman Dionel
Campos, Kiwagan Datu Juvello Sinzo and ALCADEV executive director
Emerito Samarca and the subsequent evacuations to Tandag City of 587
Lumad families with 2,914 individuals from 26 communities in 7 barangays
in 5 municipalities of Surigao del Sur. We have been demanding these
numerous times in our statements, in interviews and in dialogues with
representatives of government and non-government agencies. We told Sec.
Mar Roxas, that the military have been killing the Lumad people when he
visited us at the evacuation center in Tandag City last September. We
asked Sec. Dinky Soliman to help us return safely to our communities
when she visited us last October. We continue to shout these demands in
the streets of Surigao del Sur all the way to Manila. Thousands have
joined us in condemnation of the massacre and the continuing injustice.
Still, BS Aquino and his Armed Forces of the Philippines remain
unyielding to our cries.

The paramilitary bandit group of Marcos Bocales, Marcial Belandres and
Calpet Egua killed Onel, Datu Bello and Sir Emok in Km. 16 and Han-ayan
in Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga last September 1. These bandit groups were
organized, armed and continued to be used by the 75th IBPA and Special
Forces of the AFP in counter-insurgency operations against the NPA. The
Hasmin Acebedo paramilitary forces that killed the Tabugol brothers in
Brgy. Siagao, San Miguel is supported by the 36th IBPA. The 36th IBPA,
75th IBPA and the 7th and 9th Special Forces of the AFP are all under
the command of Col. Isidro Purisima, commanding officer of the 402nd
Bde. These facts should have pushed BS Aquino to pull-out the troops
involved in the massacre and other grave human rights abuses against the
Lumad people. Such brutality should have made the president relieve Col.
Isidro Purisima, the brains behind the brutal operations, and other
commanding officers of the AFP and have them investigated for their
culpability.

Instead of pulling out military troops the BS Aquino government has
deployed more military units to Surigao del Sur under the command of
Col. Purisima of the 402nd Bde. allegedly to “secure villages,
especially the Lumads” from the CPP-NPA. But the truth is clear: the
military has not been securing the villages and the Lumad people! The
military has organized and armed paramilitary bandit groups that have
been killing our leaders and attacking Lumad communities to ensure the
entry of coal mining operations in the Andap Valley Complex!

Military COPD and combat operations are attacking communities and
leaders of MAPASU as we have been vocal and steadfast in our opposition
against large scale mining operations within our ancestral lands. They
are vilifying our Lumad schools and our organizations to rationalize
their attacks against our communities. They have been intensifying their
attacks against MAPASU, TIPJUNGAN and other communities with progressive
organizations to remove any opposition to coal mining operations in the
Andap Valley Complex.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded coal operating contracts
(COC) to Great Wall Mining and Power Corp., Benguet Corp.,
PNOC-Exploration Corp., Ask Mining Corp. and Abacus Coal Exploration and
Development Corp. The COCs cover areas within the Andap Valley Complex,
specifically in the municipalities of Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag,
Cagwait, Bayabas, Tago, Tandag and San Miguel. Abacus Corp. is set to
start coal mining operations in the municipalities of San Miguel, Tago
and Marihatag in Surigao del Sur and has scheduled community
consultations this November. The AFP units are there to secure ABACUS
Corp. and ensure its mining operations.

Surigao del Sur has been militarized to guarantee the entry of these
mining operations within our ancestral lands. Our leaders have been
killed, our schools and cooperatives are being burned down, our teachers
and organizations are being vilified and our Lumad communities are being
attacked because we remain steadfast in defending our ancestral lands
from destructive mining operations and protecting it for our next
generation.

* Pull-out military troops from our Lumad communities!

* Immediately arrest and prosecute Bobby Tejero, Loloy Tejero and Garito
Layno, perpetrators of the Lianga massacre!

* Immediately disband and dis-arm the BOCALES-BELANDRES-EGUA and other
paramilitary bandit groups!

* Investigate the involvement of Col. Isidro Purisima and other
commanding officers involved in the Lianga Massacre and the killing of
Henry Alameda and the Tabugol brothers!

* Defend our ancestral lands from large scale mining!

Reference: Josephine Pagalan, cp# 09099293840