Statement of CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline C. De Guia on the Grievances of Lumads

Statement of CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline C. De Guia on the Grievances of Lumads

The Lumads are among the most vulnerable sectors of society. It is expedient that any issues that further put them in the margins be addressed immediately. The Commission on Human Rights has taken cognizance of the various issues they have expressed (during a dialogue with CHR today, February 19). The Commission assures the conduct of an impartial and objective investigation on their concerns, which include allegations of militarization in their areas, food blockade in evacuation centers, forceful campaign for Lumad leaders to “surrender,” and the opening of their ancestral lands to investors among others.

The Commission is regularly monitoring developments on issues that affect the well-being of the Lumads and indigenous peoples (IPs) in general. As a sector that continues to experience many forms of oppression and injustices, we call on the government to employ all measures to empower and uphold their rights, as well as to address different sources of conflict on the ground. The welfare of IPs must be given primary consideration in any government action in this regard. ■