Militants accuse government of food blockade

TAGUM CITY, Philippines  – Hunger welcomed the lumads in Davao del Norte and Agusan del Sur this 2018 brought by intensified food blocked implemented by ALAMARA, a paramilitary group, and the 60th and 72nd IB of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

On December 23, 2017, ALAMARA and AFP started to bar the communities in Sityo Mangkay, Lunoluno, Kamunuan, Bugtong Lubi in Barangay Gupitan.

While brothers Ungging and Laris Mansaloon ALAMARA leaders in Sityo Patil also warned their community that if they will buy food and other goods they will be ambushed.

“Kini nga panghitabo ug pagpangatake sa batakang katungod namo isip tao, ang katungod sa pagkaon, hugot nga gina-kondena sa KARADYAWAN” (This food blockade is a direct attack on our right to food, and we in KARADYAWAN condemn this in strongest terms) said Datu Mentroso Malibato.

Malibato recalled, “In 2015 ALAMARA and the AFP also did this to us, this prompted us to seek for sanctuary in Davao City as Internally Displaced IPs. Even last 2017, support from government agencies like DSWD were blocked by ALAMARA and the army.”

“Kining food blockade sugod Disyembre 23 hangtud sa kasamtangan, pagpamatuod sa grabehan nga pagpangharas ug pagpanghikaw sa amoang katungod aron mukaon ug mabuhi. Dugang rason nga daw kung si kinsang gamhanan ang ALAMARA ug AFP ang padayon nga pagpatuman ug pagpalawig sa Martial Law sa Mindanao.” (This food blockade that started last December 23, 2017 up to now proves intensified attacks against us lumads and a direct violation on our right to life. They further justified these attacks through the extention of Martial Law in Mindanao.), Malibato added.

Aside from food blockade, there are also other forms of harassment being made by ALAMARA, one of which is the assassination carried out by the group of Pendoy Lope, another ALAMARA leader.

More attacks are expected in light of the state program of arming the lumads. Around 300 lumads were trained last month by the 10th ID.

KARADYAWAN calls for the immediate pull-out of the AFP in communities on Davao del Norte and Agusan del Sur. Also we call on to disarm and disband ALAMARA as it threatens the life of our fellow lumads. We also call for the scrapping of the Martial Law extension in Mindanao as it serves to justify rights abuses in our communities.-(PRESS RELEASE)