JULY 27, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
DAVAO CITY- After the violent and illegal police assault against the 700 lumad evacuees in UCCP Haran last July 23, lumad leaders are quick to ask for the response of government agencies regarding the matter.
Datu Doloman Dawsay, spokesperson of the Talaingod Manobo organization Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon, says that the CHR should set its sights on the police brutality under Nancy Catamco’s manipulation.
Dawsay added that the CHR should do its tasks, and stop being inutile.
“Kani, nahitabo na jud sa ilang tugkaran, siyaro di pa jud nila atimanon. Buhaton na jud unta nila ilang trabaho, undangon na nila ilang pagka-walay pulos” (“This happened in their own backyard, it would be unseemly if they don’t take action about it. They should do their job, they should stop being useless”).
Lumad leader Bai Bibyaon Bigkay shared Doloman’s sentiment.
“Kung dili mi matabangan sa CHR, pasabot lang jud ana dapig sila kay Nancy Catamco, batok sila sa mga susama namong mga lumad” (“If CHR cannot help us, it only means that they are siding with Nancy Catamco, they are against us lumads”).
Karapatan-SMR secretary-general Hanimay Suazo echoed the calls of the lumad leaders, saying that CHR “should get dirty in the real world”.
“They have to get out of their office comfort zones and see for themselves the situation of the lumads. They should stop housing themselves in the ivory towers of bureaucracy.”
Suazo added that CHR must bridge the gap between itself and human rights victims, if they are to do their job.
“You cannot expect an illiterate lumad from the hinterlands to just drop by the CHR and say ‘Hi there, I wish to avail of my rights and the services offered by this office’. CHR must be the one to reach out to these people.”
“Otherwise, they’re just another useless agency who allow human rights violations to go unpunished.”
Suazo also belied government agencies’ claim like DSWD and CHR that they’re barred to enter the evacuation camp at UCCP Haran. According to her, “some of them had been here just to survey, they have not talked to the evacuees and as usual, did nothing significant.”