Mindanao activists held a protest in front of the Liberal Party (LP) headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City, in spite of a visit by LP representatives to their Kampuhang Bayan (people’s camp) on Nov. 6.
“The Manilakbayan ng Mindanao rejects the visit of Liberal party representatives and their gifts which come to us as a form of bribery, a conscious maneuver to stop us from staging our protest against their standard bearer,” said the Manilakbayan in a statement.
The LP representatives, among whom were former student activists Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte, Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, offered to donate food to the Manilakbayan, at the same time appealed that they cancel the scheduled protest at the LP headquarters.
They were received by Lumád leaders led by Kalumaran Secretary General Dulphing Ogan and Kalumbay chairperson and Sulong Katribu partylist first nominee Jomorito Goaynon, who rejected the offers, and went through with the protest.
The leaders said the “crimes” of the Aquino administration “cannot be erased in our collective memory.”
“Justice can’t be bought with politicking, with cheap tricks,” they said.
The protesters said the LP’s “tuwid na daan” (straight path) is a mere continuation of the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which targeted Lumád organizations, communities and schools as they resisted the entry of extractive corporations into their ancestral domain.
“We, the Lumád, are firm in our demands that the Aquino administration has long ignored: to arrest perpetrators of Sept. 1 lumad killing, to drop all trumped up charges against Lumád leaders and Mindanao activists, to pull-out military troops in our area and to junk Oplan Bayanihan,” the statement said.