Press release
August 11 , 2015

Rural missionaries group condemns the illegal arrest and detention of volunteer teacher and brother in Misamis Oriental

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) together with its sub- region in Northern –Mindanao condemned the illegal arrest and detention of its former volunteer teacher Daniel Lampusay, 22 years old and his brother Ejun aged 18 years old last August 3, 2015 at Sitio Kibungkol, Brgy. Hindangan, Gingoog city, province of Misamis Oriental. The recent human rights abuses is part of the continuing attacks on the Lumads and the RMP initiated alternative learning schools in Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao , Socsargen and Caraga regions. These schools have been tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as communist-led schools on which they often harassed the teachers and students their continuous military operations.

“We denounce the gross violation of the basic rights of Lampusay brothers by the elements
of the 58th Infantry Battalion. This is another desperate measure of the military to threaten the Lumad community in the area,” Sr. Francis Añover, RMP, National Coordinator said in a statement.

“It is lamentable that the military accuses them as members of the New Peoples’ Army when they are deeply impoverished as farm workers in a coconut grove in the same sitio. We, as missionaries know the plight of the rural poor and their aspiration only is the upliftment of their family from poverty and starvation”, Añover added.

RMP – NMR reported that they were first held at a local daycare center of the said barangay where the military forces used as their detachment, transferred to Medina town police station and finally detained at present in the Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail. The elder Lampusay is a former volunteer teacher of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Region (RMP – NMR) under our Literacy -Numeracy program. He and his brother are Higaonon residents of Sitio Minalwang in Barangay Bal-ason, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

“We demand their immediate and unconditional release, as our Holy Father Pope Francis opposed inequality as stated in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel). We hope the military heed the Holy Father’s call to touch their hearts and empathize the rural poor indigenous people’s plight ,” Añover called. ###

Reference:
Sr. Francis Añover, RSM
National Coordinator, RMP
Tel. No. +63 2 961-5094