24 Tigwahanon families flee homes in San Fernando, Bukidnon

Twenty-four Tigwahanon families fled their homes at Sitio Salumpikit, Brgy. Bunacao, San Fernando, Bukidnon after elements of the 60th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) allegedly violently searched their homes and even bombed the house of Ugsalay Lagundong with an M203 grenade rifle. This happened immediately after an encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the New People’s Army ensued in the area at around 7:00 o’clock in the morning of April 23, 2017.
Datu Ungad Daysulon recounted that the said encounter between the two armed groups occurred within 50 meters from their community in Sitio Salumpukit. This caused his people great fear and panic. The 60th IB PA denied such encounter during one radio interview, but the community stands firm to their testimony of what happened afterwards.
With their lives on the line, the community fled to the barangay center – about two kilometers away – with nothing but a few household items and the clothes on their back. 
The 99 evacuees had already spent 2 nights at the barangay hall of Brgy. Bunacao before some local officials came out for them. But rather than assisting the Lumad, the officials prodded them to go back to their community, as they said their office was busy and they had no time for such a situation.
After days in hiding to evade ‘possible military retaliation’, the evacuees decided to bring their plight to the provincial government of Bukidnon and erected a camp in front of the provincial capitol building in Malaybalay City yesterday, May 1, 2017.
This has not been the first time when instead of assisting the evacuees government units force them to go back to their communities. Despite the provision for a mandatory representative of the indigenous peoples in the government units, the representative has no power to ensure the safe return of fellow Lumad, and in many cases, even echo the unconcerned discriminatory position of the government units.
Lumad evacuees are forcibly displaced from their communities, their indigenous structures no longer effective in times of conflict, their leaders not recognized by state forces in their operations in ancestral domains. This has caused the repeated scenarios of the Lumad fleeing their domains during military operations, with no lasting resolutions achieved in their recurring displacement.###
to the Philippine Government by writing to:
H.E. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President, Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Building
Malacanang Palace
Compound JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80  

Hon. Alfredo Benjamin Sabater Caguioa
Secretary, Department of Justice  
Email: info@doj.gov.ph; communications@doj.gov.ph  

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission On Human Rights
Telefax: 929-0102, 928-5655, 926-6188
E-mail: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com  

Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
Tel: 373-97-87
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com  

Hon. Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr.
Governor, Province of Bukidnon
Provincial Capitol, Malaybalay City T
el.: (088) 221-2523; (088) 813-3845
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For more information, contact us at:
Higala sa Lumad Network
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
9200 Iligan City, Philippines
T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179
E: info@rmp-nmr.org

Katungod Lumad Alert is published by the ‘Higala sa Lumad’ [Friends of the Lumad] Network.
‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network is a support group composed of a broad range of interfaith personalities/representative of organizations synergizing relevant capacities and resources for Lumad communities under attack. ‘Higala’ also serves as an informal monitoring network for Lumad human rights. ‘Higala’ has been established as a component of the ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project.

Published with support from the European Union.
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