Philippines: Pres. Duterte #1 Dealer of Lumad Lands

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    The Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (KALUMARAN) is appalled at the recent statement of President Rodrigo Duterte saying that he will personally choose for investors to develop the Mindanao’s Lumad ancestral domains.

    “This would mean a total sell-out of the remaining ancestral lands and mineral resources that have long been defended by the Lumad against foreign multinational corporations,” said Duphing Ogan, Secretary General of KALUMARAN.

    In a recent gathering of indigenous peoples in Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City, Duterte said that he will open the ancestral domains to big plantations such as oil palm and other monocrop plantations particularly in Paquibato District of Davao region.

    “Duterte, as an avowed spokesperson of oligarchs and foreign capitalists, encourages to further plunder the environment and natural resources instead of telling the Lumad to protect their ancestral lands from the hands of big landlords and foreign investors,” added Ogan.

    In 2017, the US-Duterte regime has already made a deal with Chinese investors to pour billions of dollars in the Nonoc Mines in Surigao del Norte and Diwalwal Mine in Compostela Valley. The US-Duterte regime proves to be inclined in encroaching Lumad ancestral domains in favor to foreign investors and multinational corporations instead of correcting the historical injustices against the Lumad communities.

    “Now, it is becoming more clear that the 65 battalions of the Armed Forces in the Philippines (AFP) currently deployed in Mindanao is to secure the investments of foreign multinational corporations. This has resulted to more human rights violations against Lumad leaders, peasant and Moro communities as well as human rights defenders. It is also expected that the present number of victims of extra-judicial killings, massacre and forced displacements will continue to rise as we are under siege by the implementation of martial law and as more troops are being deployed in Mindanao,” said Ogan.

    “The whole year extension of Martial Law in Mindanao will surely facilitate Duterte’s plan to pursue his anti-people charter change that promotes the liberalization of our economy and aims to handover the ancestral lands and territories to the local landlords and foreign corporations,” Ogan lamented.

    KALUMARAN is ever determined, by all means, to continue to defend our ancestral lands for the next generation of our communities and the Filipino people.

    Source: KATRIBU

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