Tension grips as Lumads in Capitol ground resist makeshift structure demolition

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By JOEL CALAMBA ESCOL & ERCEL MAANDIG
June 18, 2019

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MDN Local News, June 18) Tension gripped the city as internally displaced persons (IDPs) resisted demolition of newly-built makeshift shelters Tuesday morning inside the Vicente de Lara park.

This, even as a top official of the province has earlier warned the lumads not to add additional structures inside the provincial park where the IDPs stayed to protest the installations of military camps in their community in sitio Mincamansi, Brgy Banglay in Lagonglong town, Misamis Oriental province. 

Misamis Oriental Yevgeny Vincente "Bambi" Emano has allegedly kept mum on the demolitions by not visiting the park and see the actual situations, nor coming out in any media outlet to air his sentiments about the issue involving the lumad's demand to dismantle army camps in their community.

Jonreboy Hilogon, one of the leaders of the group told reporters since it's already a rainy season and their old tent is no longer safe for the children and even the adult lumads, they are forced to build new makeshift shelters. Unfortunately, this action irked Provincial Legal Officer Neil Pacana that triggered the demolition.

But the lumads have accused Governor Emano of ordering the demolition. "Unsa man diay ang pasalig ni Gobernador (Emano) nga tabangan niya ang mga lumad hangtod maangkon namo ang imong gidemanda nga pagpahawa sa militar sa sitio Mincamansi," Hilogon said in a loud voice.

In June last year, lumads fled their homes in sitio Mincamansi in Lagonglong town for fear that they might be caught in the crossfire between NPA rebels and government forces.   

Datu Reynaldo Ayuman, leader of the 100-strong lumads and their families said they have decided to make new makeshift dwellings as their families might get sick with the onset of the rainy season.

"Wala kami plano mouli sa sitio Mincamansi, Barangay Banglay, lungsod sa Lagonglong hangtod anaa pa didto nagkampo ang mga military," Ayuman claimed. (We have no plans of going home to sitio Mincamansi, Barangay Banglay in Lagonglong town until the military troops are still there)

MINOR LUMAD ARRESTED

One of the minors, a son of the lumad was arrested by police authorities for allegedly carrying a bladed weapon and reportedly attempted to stab a member of the demolition team.

Tension also heightened as the lumads kicked demolition men who tried to touch their belongings. "Bisan unsaon mi nila ug hadlok dili mi mahadlok ug dili mi mouli sa Mincamansi, a certain maricel who is also one of the women of the group also said.

The provincial government fielded two aircon buses to ferry the luamds back to their origin in Lagonglong town. Dump trucks were also their to haul all lumbers and wooden materials used in making makeshift structures back to Lagonglong town.

But despite repeated orders to start embarking on th bus, still the lumads are strong in their conviction and stand to stay at the provincial capitol even if all their belongings were already taken by the demolition team.

FORCED EVACUATION

Later, the lumad leaders decided to leave the provincial capitol and instead transferred at the church and building owned by the United Church of Christ in the Philipines.

Pastor Ligaya San Francisco of the UCCP said they were shocked the lumad group seek refuge in their church but they have nothing to do at the moment as they are also mandated to help all people in need regardless of their church affiliations and status in life.

 


 


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