Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao
Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao
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
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
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
Oppose Oplan Bantay Laya and National Internal Security Plan for
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.