Lumad partylist hopeful, seeks Apo Sandawa’s blessings

By
February 23 2013

“Nangayo kami og blessing nga molampos kami sa katuyoan nga madala ang tingog sa tribu didto sa kongreso ug luwas kami sa peligro (We ask that we will be successful in our aim to bring the voice of the lumads in the Congress and that the gods will protect us from danger),” Capuyan, Katribu’s third nominee, told davaotoday.com.

By DANILDA L. FUSILERO
Davao Today

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines – The heavy rains did not stop them from praying to their great ancestor.

The Bagobos and Manobos brought local wine and native white chickens at the Lake Agco Mt. Apo Natural for their customary ritual officiated by Datu Simeon Serrano, a Manobo Baylan and spiritual leader.  The same ritual was simultaneously held at the Pamaas Holy Site.

On Monday, the lumads asked for blessings and guidance from Apo Sandawa whom they believed to have dwelt in the country’s highest peak.  They specifically asked that they will have a representation in Congress, the nation’s highest lawmaking body.

Ang among gihimo, usa ka Manobo ritual para mananghid ug mangayo og giya alang sa pagsalmot sa Katribu sa 2013 election (This is a Manobo ritual to ask permission and guidance for Katribu’s bid in the 2o13 elections),” Serrano said.

Bai Norma Capuyan hadn’t asked Apo Sandawa alone.  She asked for the rest of the spirits dwelling in Mt. Apo to guide them.

Nangayo kami og blessing nga molampos kami sa katuyoan nga madala ang tingog sa tribu didto sa kongreso ug luwas kami sa peligro (We ask that we will be successful in our aim to bring the voice of the lumads in the Congress and that the gods will protect us from danger),” Capuyan, Katribu’s third nominee, told davaotoday.com.

Earlier, Aytas held a ritual at the doors of the national office of the Commission on Elections to ask their god, Apo Namalyari, for a “clean, honest and glitch-free” election.  Their ritual kicked-off Katribu’s national campaign.

Francesca Tolentino, a Dumagat and secretary general of Katribu said “rituals are symbolic of our battle against the powers that dominate the coming elections.”  She added that the Philippine elections had always been hounded by violence, cheating and disenfranchisement.

Katribu also raised that the continuing militarization of indigenous people communities posed a big threat to a peaceful and clean elections.

“Militarization may hamper the IP’s rights to cast their votes,” Tolentino said in an emailed press statement.

Capuyan echoed Tolentino’s statement, saying the continued military operations will eventually disenfranchise lumads and deprive them of their right to vote.

Panahon sa military operations, pugos nga mamalhin ang mga lumad sa mga luwas nga lugar.  Ang uban manggawas gyud sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka barangay (During military operations, lumads are forced to evacuate to safer places while others are displaced to other areas),” Capuyan said.

Katribu maintained that the military should be pulled out from the lumad territories across the country, especially during the elections.

Meanwhile, Katribu criticized Pres. Aquino’s Liberal Party for its racist “color branding” campaign after DOTC Sec. Joseph Abaya tagged the United Nationalist Alliance as the ‘black opposition’ of the Liberal Party (LP).  The statement, Katribu said, apparently referred to Vice President Jejomar Binay’s skin color.

Ito ay sumasalamin sa diskriminasyon ng pamunuan ng LP.  Hindi kulay ang

nagdidikta sa pagkakahalal ng tao.  Hindi dahil puti ang kulay ng balat nila ay mas magaling na sila kumpara sa mga may kulay na kandidato,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino expressed disgust over the “insensitive comment” from the LP’s camp.  She said that “racial discrimination should be a thing of the past.  (Danilda L. Fusilero/davaotoday.com)

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