Lumad rights group slams military ‘surveillance’ in UP Diliman

ABS-CBNnews.com –
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/10/22/15/lumad-rights-group-slams-military-surveillance-diliman

22 October 2015

MANILA – A group of students, faculty, and staff of University of the
Philippines (UP) fighting for the rights of Lumad slammed the military
for allegedly conducting surveillance in UP Diliman ahead of a gathering
of indigenous peoples in the campus this month.

A post on Facebook by the Philippine Collegian, UP Diliman’s official
student publication, said the UP Diliman Police (UPDP) and Special
Services Brigade (SSB) intercepted six alleged military agents who were
doing ”surveillance work” on campus.

”The military has no right to be here especially now that we are
preparing to host the Lumad who are being militarized in the
countryside,” Stop Lumad Killings Network said in a statement.

The alleged interception of military personnel comes as the university
prepares for Manilakbayan, an annual event wherein indigenous groups and
peasants from across the country hold camp in Metro Manila to ”express
their issues and grievances.”

The group said some 700 Lumad will gather inside the UP Diliman campus
from October 26 to 31.

The Philippine Collegian reported that the military agents were
apprehended by the SSB in front of Vinzons Hall.

PO2 Pedro Walawala of the Quezon City Police District confirmed to the
Philippine Collegian that police indeed took custody of the agents, but
the latter were supposedly on an authorized operation to locate a target
who was allegedly on campus.

Bryle Leaño, a convener of Stop Lumad Killings Network, however, noted
that under the Sotto-Enrile Accord, military and police presence are
prohibited inside schools and universities.

”Apparently, we are still under Martial Law. If they are able to do
surveillance inside campus we can only imagine the magnitude of
repression the Lumad experiences in Mindanao” said STAND UP Chairperson,
Menchani Tilendo.

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Posted by: Andy Whitmore <whit@gn.apc.org>