“When we sit down with the President, we will not only brief him on what actually happened during the dispersal. We will also take that opportunity to explain to him the calls and demands of national minorities.”
Category: Indigenous Peoples
At Mendiola Bridge, the same calls were heard: to defend the ancestral lands, pullout soldiers and paramilitary groups in the communities and give justice to slain victims. Only louder this time, and interspersed with “Death to US Imperialism!”
“This Lakbayan demonstrates the unity of national minorities in asserting our right to self-determination,” Malayao said. “ We demand the right to self governance, the freedom to practice our way of life, and the full control of our resources.”
“We see no difference between the paramilitary groups and the Manila police who showed us the same brutality.”
“Sandugo condemns this as a terrorist act by the PNP.”
A peace consultant narrates how revolutionary efforts improved lives and showcased self-determined development in the remotest mountain communities.
“Once again, the Armed Forces of the Philippines proved its sheer paranoia.”
Protesters decried the continuing attacks against their leaders and communities, and the injustice for victims of the past administration.
It remains to be seen whether the present President Rodrigo Duterte, a known supporter against the killings of indigenous rights activists, will listen to the demands being pushed by indigenous peoples.
“A blood compact united our ancestors way back in history. Now we are united again in one struggle.”
“We are glad that the ongoing peace talks is not exclusive to Christians but tackles the issues of the Filipino people, including us, national minorities.”