Duterte tells Lumad leaders to prepare for relocation

The Lumad will be relocated to temporary shelters that will be modeled
after those units the government built in Lanao del Sur for the evacuees
from the war-torn Marawi City, the President says

Mick Basa

https://www.rappler.com/nation/195046-duterte-tells-lumad-leaders-prepare-relocation

1 February 2018

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Leaders of indigenous peoples (IP) in Mindanao
were told to prepare to relocate from their communities to temporary
shelters which the government will build, along with promises of monthly
stipends.

President Rodrigo Duterte said this on Thursday, February 1, at a
gathering of hundreds of Lumad across the island region at the
headquarters of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.

“Basta magsugod ta ‘ron, ugma naa ko’y ihatag ninyo.. Prepara inyong
kaugalingon for relocation,” Duterte said.

(We’ll start now, and tomorrow I have something for you. Prepare
yourselves for relocation)

The Lumad will be relocated to temporary shelters that will be modeled
after those units the government built in Lanao del Sur for the evacuees
from the war-torn Marawi City, the President said.

On top of that, he said, there would be jobs and a weekly stipend at
P20,000 which he joked they could use to buy liquor.

The reason why the leaders were told to relocate soon was not elaborated
by the President, although he hinted this has something to do with the
government’s counter-insurgency efforts.

Duterte on Thursday mentioned his disappointment with the New People’s
Army (NPA), whom the military implicated to be behind the beheading of
former rebel Mar Acevedo Bocales.

“Unsa’y diperensiya nila sa ISIS?” he lamented. (What makes them
different from ISIS?)

Bocales was abducted on January 28 in Surigao del Sur, according to the
military.

Following the incident, the NPA clarified they were not responsible for
Bocales’ death. Instead, the guerillas passed the blame to another
paramilitary group, Mahagat, whom Human Rights Watch in 2015 said was
implicated in an attack on a tribal school in the province.

Distance from the NPA

The President also promised the leaders that he would be releasing P100
million to facilitate their relocation, and appealed that they
participate with the government instead of the rebels.

“Disassociate yourself with the communist. Wala gyud moy matila bisag
unsa, wala moy SSS, wala moy tanan.”

The amount, he said, is to bridge them to “normalcy” while they learn
livelihood skills which the TESDA will facilitate, he said.

Duterte had been asking the Lumad to distance themselves from the rebels.

In his State of the Nation Adress last year, he threatened to bomb Lumad
schools in the hinterlands, as he said these were teaching children
communist ideology, eventually leading them to take arms against the
government. – Rappler.com