Karapatan condemns shooting incident vs indigenous Manobo-Pulangiyon during meeting with presidential, senatorial candidates

Photo from Laban ng Masa

Karapatan condemns in the strongest terms the shooting incident against indigenous Manobo-Pulangiyon leaders and community members in Quezon, Bukidnon earlier today during their consultation meeting with presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman and senatorial candidates Roy Cabonegro and David D’ Angelo. The incident was livestreamed on Facebook and several were reportedly injured, including a local peasant organizer and a Manobo-Pulangiyon leader.

This act of violence is not merely a flagrant violation of election gun bans: it is a shameless attack which clearly aims to intimidate the indigenous Manobo-Pulangiyon community from asserting their rights to ancestral domains against land-grabbing. That this attack was committed in broad daylight speaks of the brazenness and impunity enjoyed by its perpetrators as well as of other cases of land-grabbing against indigenous communities in Mindanao. It also threatens the safety and integrity of our elections.

We call on the Commission on Elections to immediately investigate this incident. The perpetrators of this incident should be held accountable. We also call on all candidates in the upcoming elections and all freedom-loving Filipinos to condemn this attack and to stand in solidarity with our indigenous brethren in their struggle for their rights to their ancestral domains and self-determination, and in asserting the call for free, safe, and fair elections.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General