DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Lumad group Pasaka denounced another round of false reporting in local news that a third Lumad died in their UCCP Haran sanctuary and was secretly buried in the Wireless Cemetery.
The report, published by some local news outlets early this week, alleged that a Lumad died due to pneumonia while being admitted at Brokenshire Hospital on June 11. The report said the Lumad was a “suspected Covid-19 patient”.
Pasaka clarified in their statement that the patient is not among the evacuees.
“Nagpsagad og pasangil ang usa ka opisyal sa barangay 8-A nga taga UCCP Haran ang namatay na si Arnold Labando na namatay sa pneumonia. Maski kami wala mi kaila sa namatay. Malisyoso kini na akusasyon sa amoang mga lumad. (An official in Barangay 8-A mindlessly accused that the dead person Arnold Labando who died of pneumonia is from UCCP Haran. We don’t even know this dead person. This is a malicious accusation on us),” their statement reads.
But a follow up story from Sunstar Davao quoted Davao City Police Director Colonel Kirby John Kraft that confirmed the Lumad patient is not from Haran.
Pasaka had been debunking of false reports spread in the barangay and in local news alleging that two Lumad infants died due to Covid-19.
They said the infants died due to pneumonia, and the parents all tested negative in Covid-19 tests.
Pasaka stressed that groups spreading false information during the pandemic is prohibited under RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
“It is clear that the State is desperate in forcing us, Lumad, in leaving our sanctuary, by any means, and even using the pandemic,” Pasaka added.
Local government officials have repeatedly urged the Manobo Lumad evacuees in Haran to go back to their provinces. But the Lumad insists the government should stop military and paramilitary operations in their ancestral lands before they can go back. (davaotoday.com)