CALL FOR SUPPORT FOR OUR LUMAD AND PEASANT COMMUNITIES

DISPLACED BY MILITARIZATION IN SURIGAO DEL SUR, PHILIPPINES

19 September 2015

Dear Friends,

Warm Greetings!

The tragedy of the attacks against Lumad communities have brought the issue of militarization and land in the forefront. Brutally killed last September 1, 2015, were Emerito ‘Tatay Emok’ Samarca, Executive Director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and former staff of Unyon sa Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte (UMAN-KMP), Dionel ‘Onel’ Campos, chairman of indigenous peoples’ group Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod or the Persevering Struggle for the Next Generation (MAPASU) and, local chieftain Jovillo ‘Bello’ Sinzo.

The bloodbath happened in KM 16, Han-Ayan, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur when elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and its paramilitary group Magahat/Bagani attacked a community of lumads and peasants located in the heart of Ambak Valley in Lianga, Surigao del Sur , Southern Philippines .

The Lumads and peasants have demanded for the pull-out of the 36th, 75th IB-PA and Special Forces from their communities and schools and the complete stop of their military operations for them to come back and live in peace. They have made it clear that the paramilitary group Magahat/Bagani Force backed by the AFP be dismantled and be held accountable for their crimes. Please sign the online petition at this LINK https://www.change.org/p/a-petition-to-stop-the-militarization-of-peasant-and-lumad-communities-in-surigao-del-sur?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition

After the incident, the military have put up detachments in the Lumad schools and communities. The continuing military operations forced the people Lianga to flee and take refuge in the nearest city, Tandag. After two weeks, the internally displaced individuals have reached 2860. These are 579 Lumad and peasant families from the municipalities of Lianga, San Miguel, San Agustin, Marihatag, seeking refuge in the grandstand of the sports center in Tandag City .

The education of now 782 learners of Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao Sur (TRIFPPS) from its 10 branches and 181 learners of ALCADEV have been affected by the militarization. Since September 1, the children and all internal refugees have been enduring deplorable conditions in the evacuation area. They sleep in concrete floors of bleachers and makeshift tents barely sheltering them from the intense heat and monsoon rains. Within a week, a 4-year old Lumad child have died of an asthma attack while in the temporary shelters. Worse, there is no immediate medical attention given their conditions. They are getting sick and continue to be susceptible to ailments. Food has been a general problem as supplies are rationed and are limited to preserved goods. Water supply is also scarce for their daily needs affecting the sanitation of the whole facility. There is not enough portable toilets and built-in bathrooms for the refugees. It is only a matter of time when the local government will be unable to sustain the temporary evacuation facility.

Therefore, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines-KMP) and its peasant human rights desk Tanggol Magsasaka (Defend Peasants), in close coordination with the our local chapter Kapunungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur (Organization of Peasants in Surigao del Sur-KAMASS) are reaching out to your kind hearts to join the campaign and help the Lumads of Surigao del Sur who have been displaced by military operations.

For cash donations you may deposit them at the following bank details:

Account Name: Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas

Bank name: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

Peso account number: 445-1001-286

Dollar account number: 445-4002-488

Swiftcode: BOPIPHMM

Bank address: West Ave -Baler Branch, West Avenue ,

Quezon City, Philippines 1100

You may coordinate with our national office for inquiries regarding the campaign and how you can help via landline (632)456-5727 or via email at kmp@kilusangmagbubukid.org .

To get updates with the campaign, please follow us at twitter @kmp_phl, or visit our official website at www.kilusangmagbubukidngpilipinas.com. Thank you very much!

For the struggling peasantry,

RAFAEL MARIANO

KMP National Chairperson

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KMP National Secretariat
217-B Alley 1 Road 7, Project 6, Quezon City , Philippines
Telefax: +63(2) 456-5727
Email: kmp@kilusangmagbubukid.org
Web: www.kilusangmagbubukidngpilipinas.com

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