In Mindanao, especially in its southern regions, more than 29 battalions of the AFP’s forces are being deployed in the name of counter-insurgency, but ostensibly they serve as the “Sekyu” (security force) of the big foreign companies that are conducting large-scale mining activities operating in these mineral-rich areas. Their presence in these mountainous ancestral lands of the Lumad peoples is unmistakably to insure the unimpeded smooth extraction of gold, nickel, copper, silver, chromite and other mineral ores.
It is not surprising that the Lumad population who resist these unbridled despoliation of their ancestral lands would suffer harsh repressive acts by the Military Sekyu of these corporate miners. And the inevitable consequences of human rights violations are strikingly brutal and wicked they hurt the moral integrity of the nation, and earn the denunciation of human rights advocates here and abroad. No less than the good Cardinal Luis Tagle extended his untainted support to the Lumad cause, personally communing with the Manilakbayan protest-trekkers in their “kampuhan” camp out at Manila’s Liwasang Bonifacio.
It has been to the common-sensical realization of most every good-thinking citizen that “the Philippine government exists more for the pleasure and benefit of the foreigners than for its own constituency.”
Indeed, it appears that the interests of profit-hungry capitalists are closer to the heart of Malacañang than its Filipino citizens. During the entire period that the lakbayanis were in Manila, not a word from the President Noynoy Awuino and from the advocates of “matuwid na daan” was heard even as a token concern for all these Lumads had gone through in their soldier-infested communities.
All the while, as people from all walks of life trooped to the “kampuhan” makeshift village of the lakbayanis to show their varied forms of support, the soldiers of President Noynoy continued to perpetrate unabated killings and other human rights abuses, including the demolition of Lumad community school buildings. Not contented with having massacred three educators of ALCADEV school of Lumads in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, the trigger-happy AFP soldiers and their paramilitary units had to burn down another schoolhouse in the very area where the massacre was committed.
If there’s one element very clearly unfolded in all these terroristic acts against the Lumad population in Mindanao, it is the badge of “impunity” worn by most every member of the Military Establishment under their absolutely insensitive Commander-in-Chief. But Noynoy Aquino did not only manifest callousness of sensibility, he so willfully unfurled his signature banner of deceit. At the moment when the lakbayanis were already back home in Mindanao, he “advertised in the media the propaganda ploy of having supposedly held a dialogue with Lumad leaders in Malacañang purportedly to arrive at resolutions of the Lumad problem. And who were these supposedly Lumad leaders with President Noynoy? They were the leaders of the very paramilitary group ALAMARA who perpetrated all the killings and all other Satanic terror acts in the Lumadlands!
Pondering on these condemnable violence against the Lumad people at this juncture of our country’s history, one can not help but point his accusing fingers at the policy-decision makers of the Stage who allow themselves to be stooges of the American imperialists. And to think that all these have to transpire in the name of “peace and development” that uphold the tenets of “neoliberalism” as the motivating force, it becomes an imperative resolve on the part of all well-meaning citizens, lovers of true democracy and advocates of social justice to expose the hidden agenda and sinister end of neoliberalism.