MANILA, Philippines – Amid outrage over the death and displacement of Lumads, an indigenous group in Mindanao, Senator Grace Poe filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the reported harassment of members of the tribal group.
Poe, in Resolution 1572, said reports that the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and Special Forces were acting with a certain “Magahat/Bagani paramilitary forces” in carrying out operations against the Lumad increase “the gravity of the allegations.”
On August 9, Poe said Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao Del Sur (TRIFPSS) “parateachers” were held at gunpoint when members of Magahat/Bagani forces harassed residents of Sitio Nalindog in Surigao Del Sur, forcibly evacuating almost 900 Lumad and peasant settlers from 9 communities.
The violence continued until September 1, when the same paramilitary forces allegedly shot Bello Sinzo and Dionel Campos, chairperson of the inter-municipal MAPASU Lumad-Manobo organization in the province.
Other community members were forced out of their homes, as the dead body of Emerito Samarca, executive director of the tribal school Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev), was found inside one of the classrooms. (READ: School head, 2 lumad leaders killed in Surigao del Sur) – Rappler.com