Updates on the Ground:
Arson at Refugee Sanctuary UCCP Haran House
On February 23rd, three unidentified men broke into the UCCP Haran House church compound, where over 700 displaced Lumad seek refuge, and set multiple areas ablaze using gasoline and a lighted torch. Five people were injured, obtaining second degree burns, including three children. The fire destroyed the makeshift homes of the refugees as well as church dormitories which house volunteers. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte immediately ordered a thorough investigation of the incident . See our full statement regarding this atrocious crime:
BAKWIT | INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS
A video dedicated to the thousands of Lumad families internally displaced in Mindanao and to the millions of internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world.
Tandag City Bakwit
The 5 demands of the MAPASU Lumad communities have still not been met. Illness, water and food shortages are still rampant. Basic medicines are needed more than ever.
A new update is that four wealthy individuals in the area who are friends with the governor (a supporter of the Lumad) offered plots of land so that evacuees can farm. 181 Lumad men (heads of families) began tilling that land on Monday Feb 29th. This is extremely positive, given the circumstances, as it will bring more vegetables into their diets. Lack of vegetables and an abundance of salt treated food has been causing many health issues among the evacuees such as ulcers and UTIs (urinary tract infections). While the new farms are positive, it is also bittersweet as it addresses the possibility that the refugees will not be able to return home soon. Regardless, they will maintain hope and continue to fight. In the meantime, they’re working hard to improve the situation they are in.
Evacuees are hoping that local police will do their duty in keeping the new farms secure. They are also hoping the governor continues to support them despite enormous pressure from the national government to send the Lumad home to their militarized, unsafe communities.
Currently, families continue to trickle in from Talaingod due to the intensifying militarization and harassment and threats by the paramilitary Alamara group on the communities and schools in Talaingod adding to the 700+ IDPs in Davao City.
Mindanao's vast rural areas - forests, mountains, agricultural fields - have become battlefields, making civilian farmers and lumads victims of widespread intensive military campaigns.
A people’s caravan and mobilization from the rural communities of Mindanao to Davao will be happening, seeking immediate action on the killings of Lumad in the name of militarization and plunder by big mining and plantations. The campaign started on February 26 and will be ongoing until March 10, 2016. The campaign calls for support from schools, churches, and other institutions to call for the end of attacks on indigenous peoples, their schools and communities and defend their natural resources, ancestral lands and their right to education and land.
The MindaLakbayan has three major components:
1. Education Drive
2. Relief and Organizing Drive
3. Mobile Film Screening
Even under all the intensifying militarization and human rights violations both STTICLC and MISFI are conducting their final exams and preparing for moving up ceremonies and graduation. They are determined to obtain their right to an education from the occupied militarized communities to the Bakwit. Education is a human right.
Salupongan Music Video
The Save Our Schools Network in the University of the Philippines Diliman, a group of professors, university officials, researchers, staff, students and artists that works with lumad schools in Mindanao, is inviting you to support and join the world premiere of “Salupongan” music video on March 5, 2016 (Saturday) starting at 5:00P in the evening at the Film Center (Cine Adarna) of UP Diliman.
The music video, directed by Carlos Siguion Reyna, features over a hundred musicians and actors, including John Arcilla, Aiza Seguerra, Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, Bayang Barrios, Mae Paner, Christopher de Leon, Edgar Mortiz, Bimbo Cerrudo, Cris Villonco, Lorenz Martinez, Myke Salomon and music groups like Baihana, Patatag, UP Cherubim and Seraphim, Coro de Sta. Cecilia, along with a dozen lumad musicians.
Apart from the director’s talk and live performances from guest artists the world premiere will also serve as a venue to step up the campaign against the intensifying militarization, violations, and killings of Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao. Fittingly, “Salupongan” music video calls on everyone to come together to defend and uphold the rights, welfare, and future of the Lumads.
We are hoping to see you during the event. For inquiries and confirmation, you may contact the SOS secretariat at mobile number 09088147488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TMWL 2 HIGHLIGHT + THANK YOU!
We would like to extend a HUGE Thank You / Daghang Salamat to all the wonderful people who came out to support our To Mindanao With Love Part 2 event on Valentine's Day. We would also like to acknowledge the volunteers and artists who donated their time and talent for the love of the Lumad people. We were able to raise over $2,500 that we will be sending to the evacuation site, UCCP Haran House in Davao City. These funds will go directly towards food, water, basic medical and living supplies for the evacuees. Also, given the recent arson incident and damage done to the evacuation center and church facilities, funds may be used to help rebuild and additional medical needs. We hope you all had a wonderful time at our event and look forward to more in the future! Thank you for fighting alongside the Lumad with us to end militarization, defend ancestral land, attain self determination, and bring the Lumad home!
Eric Solano, Artistic Director of Parangal Dance Company
“Give the opportunity to educate the youth and support them in returning to their sacred lands. With over 2,000 indigenous people in Mindanao who have been displaced due to corporate mining, militarization and attacks on schools, if you are able to donate school supplies, medical supplies or funds please do so at www.salugpongan.org/donate. Let's get together to help those who were here first and preserved the culture so that we can still be part of indigenous culture today and for the future generations. Let us be the voice for those that cannot be heard through dance, music, attire, and art for those who cannot be seen.“
-Eric Solano, Founder and Artistic Director of Parangal Dance Company
WE ARE ONE
"Our land gives births to us all. "
UPCOMING REPORT BACKS
Delegates Robin Navarro + Rachel Lastimosa
March 9, 2016, 1-3pm
Filipino Community Center, 4681 Mission Street, SF, CA 94112
April 15, 2016, 6-8pm
University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, SF, CA 94117