06 September 2017
ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of Obillo Bay-ao, a grade six pupil of Salogpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) by a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and the paramilitary Alamara identified with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday at Sitio Dulyan, Talaingod, Davao Del Norte.
“We are enraged that another Lumad student like Obillo fell victim to the Duterte regime’s martial law and deceptively named Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) Kapayapaan,” said Tinio. “Obillo was a Grade 6 student, a 19-year-old whom state forces murdered while he was helping his family harvest their crops. He is the 47th Lumad killed in the Southern Mindanao Region and there is no let-up in such killings especially since it is the President himself who maliciously tagged the Lumad and their schools as rebels and therefore military targets.”
The solons lamented that while indigenous peoples like the Lumad in Mindanao fight against the plunder of natural resources and in defense of their ancestral lands, DSSP Kapayapaan is used as a fascist tool to suppress these struggles. With martial law in place, soldiers are even more emboldened to instill fear and terror among the Lumad, even innocent youth like Obillo.
“Clearly, the youth and national minorities are victims of President Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao,” stressed Castro, saying that military operations forced Obillo, his family and community to evacuate and stay in UCCP Haran in July. They only went back to their home in time for harvest this August. “Their school and community in Talaingod had been consistently targeted by military operations since 2008 and a year under President Duterte did not change this for good,” Castro pointed out.
“We demand that the President order the pull-out of AFP troops from communities to put an end to this spate of killings and human rights violations against the Lumad. We demand that he scrap the anti-people DSSP Kapayapaan, lift martial law, and disband paramilitary groups in the countryside. We hold his administration’s fascist policies responsible for the killings and ongoing human rights violations against the Lumad. President Duterte should retract his past statements that facilitated the perpetuation of attacks against indigenous schools and communities,” the solons ended. ###