Stop the crackdown on Lumad leaders and human rights defenders in Mindanao!

July 6, 2018

The Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (KALUMARAN) and Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pililipinas (Katribu) demand the immediate release of  Lumad leaders Jomorito Goaynon and Roger Plana, Kalumaran’s deputy secretary general and council member, respectively. We demand to drop all fabricated charges on all 13 leaders, activists and seminar house staff arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at the Mother Francisca Spirituality Center in General Santos City on July 4, 2018.

CIDG and PNP elements barged into the seminar house and immediately confronted Jomorito Goaynon to force him to admit as being the person stated in the unsigned warrant of arrest. Goaynon denied the accusation and contested the validity of the warrant but he and the 12 others were forcibly taken to PNP Camp Lira in General Santos City.

Goaynon and Plana are both Higaonon Lumad community leaders and key officers of Kalumbay, the regional allied organization of KALUMARAN and Katribu based in Cagayan de Oro City. They were attending a program consultation of volunteers and partners of the Iglesia Filipina IndependienteVisayas-Mindanao Regional Office for Development (IFI-VIMROD).

As leaders of Kalumbay and KALUMARAN, Goaynon and Plana supported some 50 indigenous Higaonon families who sought refuge from intensified militarization of their communities in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental. The displaced Higaonon are now encamped in the provincial capitol grounds in Cagayan de Oro.

Goaynon and Plana also led campaigns against the encroachment of corporate plantations in their ancestral domains. They are also the voices of the Manilakbayan and Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya protest-caravans that exposed the militarization, massive human rights violations and plunder of ancestral domains in the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan and Oplan Kapayapaan in Lumad communities. Goaynon also engaged Senate and Congress leaders to lobby for indigenous peoples rights and to call for investigations into the political killings of Lumad by state military agents. 

The Duterte administration failed us in countless ways and led us to frustration. The Duterte administration perpetuates the unabated violation of human rights of the Lumad and the undeterred plunder of our ancestral lands.  This government continues to claim its openness to resume peace talks with the NDFP but persists in atrocious acts of plunder in Lumad communities, attacks our schools, perpetrates harassments and extra-judicial killings, stages fake surrenders, files trumped-up charges and arrests our leaders.

But no amount of intimidation and repression will diminsh our collective struggle to defend our in rights to our ancestral lands and our right to self-determination.