Various lumad organizations in Mindanao

hold First Assembly of Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao

(Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao)


Davao City


February 27 to March 2, 2009




More than 200 participants from various lumad groups atttended the First Assembly of the Kalumaran (Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao) from February 27 to March 2, 2009 in Davao City

The assembly attained a unity against various government policies that are against the interests of the luimads like the Philippine mining act, Oplan Bantay Laya and  NISP sa IP that undermines the unity and culture of the lumads so that landlords and capitalists could grab and exploit their lands. The participants ended their assembly with a picket rally in front of the Eastern Mindanao Command of the AFP in Davao City




Photos courtesy of KALUMARAN


Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao
Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao

Unity Statement
From the 1st Kalumaran Assembly
February 27 to March 2, 2009
Episcopal Mission Center, Davao City

We, the delegates and participants of the First Assembly of Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao) held in February 27 to March 2 at the Episcopal Mission Center in Davao City;

Representing Lumad organizations from various regions of Mindanao that continue to face the exploitation and oppression in our ancestral domain;

Firmly unite to express our stand against the plunder of our ancestral land and of our national patrimony by large-scale mining, logging, IFMA, dam, plantations and many more projects.

This plunder by multinational capitalists is the handiwork of the Arroyo regime especially through the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. Such policy has incited conflict and destruction of our communities. We Lumads are displaced from our own land and homes. This encroachment of our land has destroyed our livelihood and is the cause of human rights violations.

Under the national military program called Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the Arroyo Regime ensures to grab the indigenous people’s ancestral domain and natural resources by way of military operations and attacks on our leaders. One concrete manifestation of this is Task Force Gantangan where Lumads are being recruited for paramilitary formation.

Both Oplan Bantay Laya 2 and Task Force Gantangan are unleashed against the Lumads as based on the National Internal Security Plan Application on Indigenous Peoples Sector (NISP-IP), a counter-insurgency policy but is actually anti-Lumad as for stopping us from defending our ancestral domain. The NISP-IP is nothing else but a means to destroy the unity and the strength of the Lumads in order to clear the way for capitalist exploitation of our land.

The Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command is relentless in its implementation of the NISP-IP in Lumad areas in South Cotabato, Sarangani, North Cotabato, Davao provinces, Caraga, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental by way of launching non-stop military operations, creating Barangay Defense System / Integrated Territorial Defense System, organizing fake tribal councils under their command, and backing up the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference on Peace and Development (MIPCPD ) which facilitates the contracts with capitalist interests to exploit our ancestral lands.

The Eastern Mindanao Command also implements the NISP-IP to make the encroachment on ancestral lands easier, and by doing so it is also destroying the culture and unity of the indigenous peoples. It has organized bagani (Lumad warrior) groups allegedly to defend the communities but is actually defending the capitalists. These groups include Alamara, BULIF, Wild Dogs, LUPACA, Bagani Force, Tribal Justice, etc. and they are sowing division among the indigenous peoples for the benefit of the Arroyo Regime to take over. These groups are also strongly backed and led by the officials of the MIPCPD with the likes of Joel Unad, Ramon Bayaan, Lito Umos, Luis Lambak, George Mandahay, Lito Gawilan, the Napongahan brothers, etc.

This manipulation of indigenous culture along with the encroachment of ancestral domain attacks the Lumad tradition. For us, the ancestral land is sacred and covers all things found above and below it. Thus, the ancestral land is never for sale, for we only borrowed this from our future generation. The ancestral domain also forms part of the national patrimony and should be defended for the benefit of genuine development that is aspired by the Filipinos.

In spite of this situation, we Lumads firmly oppose Oplan Bantay Laya 2 and NISP-IP for trampling on our rights. We likewise condemn the leaders of MIPCPD for betrayal of the collective interests of the Lumads. Most of all, we condemn the Arroyo government for exploiting and oppressing the Lumad people.

As Lumad people, we strengthen our unity and stand to defend ancestral domain and the right to self determination. Through our unity with other oppressed sectors, the people’s struggle will be stronger against the fake president and her plunder of national patrimony and rights. If the Arroyo government wants war against the Lumads, then we the oppressed Lumads together with the Filipino people are ready to frustrate her aims so that we can reclaim our rights and dignity.

It is a great challenge to us to unite and ceaselessly advance for genuine peace, justice, and liberation.

Lumad people unite! Strengthen our ranks!

Oppose the anti-Lumad and anti-people policies of the Arroyo government!
Scrap Philippine Mining Act of 1995!
Scrap the inutile and devious Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA)!

Fight for the collective rights and tradition of the Indigenous Peoples!
Land, education, and social service; not bullets and bombs !
Defend ancestral domain and patrimony!

Oppose militarization and plunder of ancestral land and national patrimony!
Oppose Oplan Bantay Laya and National Internal Security Plan for Indigenous Peoples!
Stop militarization in the countryside!

Signed by 200 delegates of the First Assembly of Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao (Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao) held in February 27 to March 2 at the Episcopal Mission Center in Davao City.