August 14, 2017

NUSP condemns intensifying militarization of Lumad communities in Mindanao

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) condemns the intensifying militarization of Lumad communities in Mindanao. “Over the past month, the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao has been marred with intimidation, forced evacuations, extrajudicial killings, and other human rights violations,” said NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent Lim.

Last June 21, community leaders were summoned at the detachment of the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and were interrogated by a military official named Sergeant Ramil Alfonso. They were shown a list of so-called enemies of the state that bears the names of the teachers and community organizers. Eight (8) community leaders were forced to surrender.

On June 25, the 16th and 36th Infantry Battalions and 3rd Special Forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) arrived at Sitio Barobuan, Carromata, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Since then, they conduct house-to-house operation to coerce the leaders to surrender.

Military forces continues to intimidate students and volunteer teachers of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Inc. and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur Schools (TRIFPSS), as well, and advise them to quit attending classes. In Sitio Liangabon, Calatngan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, an unidentified armed man left a threat letter with an introduction of “‘Pag di kayo umalis dyan…” to a TRIFPSS teacher.

On July 4, the 75th Infantry Battalion arrived/camped-out at Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Two years ago, ALCADEV Executive Director Emerito “Tatay Emok” Samarca and Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Aurelio “Bello” Sinzo were killed by AFP-backed paramilitary groups in Lianga.

“The Union stands in solidarity with the Lumad and people of Mindanao in calling for the immediate lifting of Martial Law and an end to the intensifying militarization in the countryside,” concluded Lim.

Reference:
Mark Vincent D. Lim
NUSP National Spokesperson
(+63) 917 565 4963

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