Teody Mansimuy-at, leader of the Talaingod Manobo group Salugpugan ‘Ta Tanu Igkanugon, uses a spear to symbolically hit government agencies they claimed had allowed foreign mining companies to encroach their ancestral domain. This rally took place at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau during the Earth Day commemoration. (Earl O. Condeza/davaotoday.com)
Leaders of the Manobos trooped to the offices of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Tuesday to report abuses purportedly committed by the military in their community of Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
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.
Around a week ago, when the reports of the Talaingod Manobo exodus first began trickling in, I happened to glance at a copy of a Mindanao regional daily at a local cafe. The front page proudly bannered that two battalions had been brought in from Luzon to add to counter-insurgency operations here in the Davao region. In my gut, I knew that this happy headline had something to do with the misery of my friends and many others in Talaingod.
Lumad Manobo evacuees squatted around a projection screen, some kids clung to a mango tree to get a better vantage point while women held their tots tight as they intently watched the boxing fight.
Manobo tribal children flew kites on Friday in a symbolic message to government to pull out Army troops currently doing counterinsurgency rounds in their hometown in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Talaingod Manobo children at the UCCP compound in Davao fly kites with calls to stop military operations in their villages written on the kites. The activity was dubbed as “Tabanog sa Kalinaw” and organized by groups supporting the 1,300 Manobos who fled from their militarized villages in Davao del Norte.
“Ang gusto gyud ni mayor unta kung pwede mubalik ang mga Lumad og mga evacuees didto sa Brgy.Palma Gil, didto sa safe area nato, dayun i-assure ni mayor ang pagkaon og tanan makaya ihatag sa gobyerno. (The mayor wants the Lumad evacuees to return to Barangay Palma Gil, in a safe place. The Mayor also assures that there would be food and other relief goods to be provided for them),” Tocmo told the leaders.
FACE OFF. Talaingod Manobo leader Datu Doluman Dausay (left) faced Zandro Tocmo (in white shirt), administrator of Talaingod local government at a dialogue in the evacuation site in UCCP Haran to demand the LGU to call for the pull out of military units from their community. (Daisy Jane M. Apit/davaotoday.com)
ABORTED CLASSES. Teody Mansimuy-at, a Manobo literacy-numeracy teacher in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte said they were forced to cancel plans of summer school because of alleged threats and abuses of Army troops present in their communities. Mansimuy-at is one of the 1300 plus Talaingod Manobos, mostly women and children, now in Davao City who fled Talaingod for the safety of Davao City.