Justice to the victims of Tumandok Massacre and immediate release of those illegally arrested

Western Visayas bishops, condemning the kiilings of the Tumandok tribe.

On the 40 th day commemoration of the Tumandok massacre, Migrante International stands in solidarity with the global community to mourn for justice for the death of 9 Tumandok leaders as well as imprisonment of the members of their indigenous peoples (IP) community on December 30, 2020 in Panay Island Philippines.

We are one with the families of the victims of the Tumandok Massacre in their demand calling for justice to the victims of the Tumandok Massacre, according to Ms. Joanna Concepcion, Chairperson of MIGRANTE International. MIGRANTE International condemns the Duterte government’s Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) and EO70 that created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) responsible in sowing terror, vilification and death to these Tumandok people who have struggled for decades against destructive projects like the Jalaur River Megadam in defense of their ancestral lands.

Ms. Concepcion further said that the reign of terror of the combined forces of the AFP and PNP is fully supported by the Duterte regime providing them with huge funds worth 19 billion pesos allotment from the national budget to ensure the government’s all-out war in 2021. Instead of providing the needed social services during the COVID pandemic, the Duterte government set as priority the militarization and summary execution of indigenous peoples and human rights defenders whom it perceives as obstacle in its vested agenda for development, Ms. Concepcion attested.

Global Filipino migrants are not exempt from this tyrannical government. NTF-ELCAC operatives have been funding migrants’ groups loyal to the government to red-tag and vilify progressive organizations that have been providing genuine services to their constituents such as Hong Kong, Europe, USA and other chapter countries of the Migrante International. We enjoin our compatriots and partner solidarity groups in each country to oppose and expose the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and defend indigenous peoples who have always been targeted by the State to pursue its greed at the expense of their land, life and resources.

Finally, we reiterate the demand for justice for the deaths of the 9 Tumandok leaders and the release of 16 others who were imprisoned on trumped-up charges. We unite with all indigenous peoples who are senselessly attacked by the Duterte regime and demand respect for their rights to their ancestral lands and self-determination.