DAVAO CITY – Church and civil society groups based in the United States will hold an online forum livestream and webinar to show solidarity with the more than 1,300 Talaingod Manobos who have evacuated their homes in Talaingod, Davao del Norte since April 2.
The groups composed of “Souther California churches and community-based organizations” have been doing “advocacy and medical missions with the Manobo people of the Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanugon (Unite to Defend the Ancestral Land) for more than three years.”
They sad that the activity is about “urgently responding to the humanitarian crisis and showing solidarity with the more than 1300 indigenous Manobo people who evacuated their ancestral land due to intensified militarization.”
The group said in the United States, the online peace forum will be on on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 6:30PM at the US Time Rosewood United Methodist Church, 4101 Rosewood Avenue in Los Angeles, California but in the Philippines it will be on April 16, 2014, 9:00AM.
“The interactive peace forum will feature international participants, including Datu Dawsay Doloman, the spokesperson of the Salugpongan,” said the group in Facebook post.
They said that in addition to live testimonies, the Talaingod Manobos will be also offer indigenous rituals for peace live from their evacuation grounds in United Church of Church of the Philippines Haran House in Fr. Selga St., Davao City.
The group said they also invited to talk Luis Jalandoni, the Chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in its peace negotiations with the Government of the Philippines (GPH).
“Connecting the struggles of the indigenous people of Talaingod to the worsening human rights crisis in the Philippines, Jalandoni will highlight the necessity of continued peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the NDFP in order to resolve the roots causes of the decades-long conflict in the Philippines,” said the group.
The group said that “(a)ttendees will be invited to ask questions and engage in dialogue with Jalandoni, Datu Doloman and the people of Talaingod, as well as the local missioners who will provide testimony at the event.”
They also invited “community leaders from churches and organizations” that “will present prayers and statements of solidarity.”
Among the organization the group identified are the Union del Barrio, the Union of Progressive Iranians, International Action Center, BAYAN Southern California, ministries of the United Methodist Church California-Pacific Conference, and other member organizations of Panaghiusa (a network for peace and justice in Mindanao).
“The First United Methodist Church of Pasadena will present a prayer quilt from their church to the leaders of the Salugpongan,” the group said.
The groups will also ask “attendees” to “send support for food and basic necessities to the evacuees of Talaingod through partnered organizations in the Philippines.”
“On the day many people are finishing their taxes, participants will also be asked to write to their local representatives to show support for peace in the Philippines by stopping all U.S military aid to the Philippines for human rights violations,” the group said.
The sponsoring groups are the United Methodist Church California-Pacific Annual Conference – Taskforce on the Philippines, Rosewood UMC Advocacy Ministry, BAYAN USA Southern California, Panaghiusa, Union del Barrio, Union of Progressive Iranians, International Action Center, Habi Arts, Anakbayan Los Angeles, GABRIELA Los Angeles, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns Southern California, Filipino Migrant Center, and Filipino-American Health Workers Association and International League of People’s Struggle-Southern California. (davaotoday.com)