Indigenous Peoples (IP) advocates Katribu Polytechnic University of the Philippines chapter slammed anew the raid on a Lumad school in Cebu City that led to the arrest of 26 members.
In a statement released Wednesday, Feb. 24, Katribu PUP condemned the illegal and violent arrest of Lumad students, Lumad elders, and volunteer teachers. The Philippine National Police (PNP) called the arrest a “rescue operation.”
“Malinaw na ang ‘rescue operation’ na ito ay isang na namang militarisado at terorismong atake sa hanay ng mga Lumad. Ang pagsagip sa kanila mula sa paaralan na nagdala sa kanila ng kaligtasan mula nang palayasin at harasin sila ng mga militar sa kanilang lupain ay nagdala lamang sa kanila sa isa na naman marahas at delikadong sitwasyon (It is clear that the ‘rescue operation’ is another militarized attack against the Lumads. Their supposed rescue from the school which brought them to safety since the military evicted and harassed them on their land only brought them to another dangerous situation),” Katribu PUP said.
The group also called for an end to the terror and abuse against the IPs.
“Mariin naming ipinanawagan ang patuloy na imbestigasyon sa pagdakip na naganap at agarang pagpapalaya sa mga guro, estudyante, at datu na dinakip ng PRO-7. Kaalinsabay ng panawagan ng pagpapalaya ay ang panawagan upang itigil ang karahasan sa Pambansang Minorya (We strongly call for a continued investigation into the arrest and the immediate release of teachers, students, and datus detained by PRO-7. We also call for an end to the violence against the National Minority),” it added.
Twenty-six individuals, including teachers, Lumad students, and Lumad elders were arrested in the operation conducted by the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) inside the Talamban campus of the University of San Carlos Cebu City on Feb. 15.
Charges of kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and trafficking in persons were filed against two Bakwit School volunteer teachers, three Lumad students, and two Lumad elders on Feb. 17.