Press Release: February 8, 2021


Aya Santos, Public Information Desk, 09157814650

Sandugo, rights groups hound PNP, AFP 40 days after the #TumandokMassacre

Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination, Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, Katribu Youth, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Promotion of Church People’s Response, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and other progressive organizations conducted protests today at the gates of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Quezon City. The groups held these institutions accountable for the December 30 operation which killed nine Tumandok indigenous peoples and jailed 16 others in Capiz and Iloilo.

“On the 40th day since the Tumandok Massacre, when there seems to be no inch of hope for justice, we want the public to know the extent of PNP and AFP’s accountability,” Sandugo said today. “We will not let the deaths of the nine Tumandok be forgotten,” Sandugo continued.

“The Tokhang-style killings have to stop NOW. We know very well that the massacre victims did not resist arrest. Families and witnesses consistently said that they were awoken from their sleep when the operation happened. Many were dragged out of their huts, leaving the victims alone inside the houses. After which the gunshots were heard, the lifeless bodies of their loved ones were already being brought out or lying on the floors,” Sandugo said.

According to Karapatan-Panay, since the massacre, the Tumandok communities have been in constant fear of having the police and army stationed in their communities. The incident also resulted in forced surrenders of 300 individuals.

“The security sector has too much power over the citizens with the Anti-Terrorism Law, and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), while President Rodrigo Duterte has empowered these men in uniform with impunity and severe corruption,” Sandugo said. “These institutions disrespect basic human rights and kill their perceived enemies on a whim. Additionally, they either do cover-ups or justify their own crimes by using the “nanlaban” excuse,” Sandugo said.

Tumandok communities face the threat of displacement due to the construction of Jalaur Mega Dam which will submerge communities with 17,000 residents. The Tumandok people have long been opposing this project. “This is the reason behind the continuous red tagging, harassment and eventual killing and arrest of the Tumandok by the PNP, AFP and NTF-ELCAC,” Sandugo said.

Also today, solidarity actions were held in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia in front of the Korean and Philippine Consulates to call for the halt in the funding and construction of the Jalaur Mega Dam project. Other solidarity groups also joined the online campaign to express solidarity for the #Justuce4TumandokMassacre victims.

“We will continue to hold the Duterte Government, AFP and PNP and the officers involved accountable for the massacre. The people are united in the call for justice for the crimes of this fascist militarist government,” Sandugo concluded.

Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination is an alliance of Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples’ organizations. We aim to protect ancestral territories and advance the right to determine our own lifeways.

Sandugo office is located at Room 304 National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
879 EDSA, West Triangle, Quezon City 1104, Philippines.
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