MANILA – Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manila visited the camp of Manilakbayan at Liwasang Bonifacio and expressed his support to the calls of the Lumads for a pull-out of military troops in their communities.
Tagle called for the national government to “execute peace; which means pulling out of military troops, disband and disarm paramilitary groups” in the Lumad communities in Mindanao.
On Wednesday morning, lumad leaders, Datus, and Bais told the archbishop of their plight.
Tagle said he already “tapped other dioceses especially in Mindanao to discuss the issues of lumads.” He said that “what is happening right now [with the lumads], is in need of response and help.”
Tagle also asked the people to join the call of the lumads for them “to return to their perspective communities in peace and in tranquility. They also need food, water, medicines, care and understanding.”
Bai Bibyaon Ligkayan Bigkay, a woman lumad leader from Talaingod Davao del Norte, challenged the archbishop and told him that “you have a big responsibility to help us. To help our situation in Mindanao.”
Before Tagle left, the leaders gave him Tubaw (a traditional handkerchief of Indigenous Peoples) as their token of gratitude.
Tagle also said he wished for “peace to prevail; for the perpetrators to be apprehended so justice will be served for the slain lumad leaders in Mindanao.” (davaotoday.com)