The National Democratic Front – Negros joins the resounding call of the people to denounce the police raid of a Lumad Bakwit School in the University of San Carlos – Talamban Campus (USC-TC) in Cebu City earlier today.
Duterte regime proves once again that it has no heart as it continues to terrorize the Lumads as combined forces of the Police Regional Office 7 and the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 7 manhandled and forcibly arrested 21 students, two teachers and two Lumad elders (datu).
The people are not easily fooled by the “rescue operation” narrative by state forces. State forces are once again over-reaching in their narrative that the Lumad students are training as future combatants. It is widely known that the intensified militarization of Lumad communities, incessant aerial bombings and escalating human rights violations forced the Lumads to evacuate from their homes in Mindanao and take shelter in other places – including the Bakwit School in USC-TC.
These same forces who “rescued” the Lumad students are the very ones who terrorized and wreaked havoc in their communities – including the closure of 178 Lumad schools. These are the very same bloodthirsty mercenary lapdogs of the Duterte regime who massacred Tumandok leaders in Capiz and tortured and arrested Aeta farmers in Zambales who were the first to be charged under the Anti-Terror Act.
We echo the resounding call of the people to immediately release the Lumad students, their teachers and their elders, collectively known as Lumad 25. Calls to stop the attacks on the Lumads and all indigenous people must be reverberated. Duterte must be held accountable for all his gruesome crimes against the indigenous people!
Ultimately, the people’s democratic revolution is the refuge of the indigenous people’s fight for self-determination and for peace based on justice.