Paramilitary forcibly enters Church Lumad sanctuary

Around 50 paramilitary members of Alamara break into the UCCP compound this morning. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

Last week, the Regional Peace and Order Council – 11 issued a resolution demanding the closure of the church compound.

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Days after a regional peace body ordered its closure, some suspected members of the paramilitary broke into the United Church of Christ in Philippines (UCCP) – Haran compound in Davao City.

The Save Our Schools (SOS) Network reported that an undetermined number of suspected Alamara agents began to tear down the walls of the UCCP compound at around 9:20 a.m. today, Jan. 25.

The group fears planting of evidence to justify the forced entry of the suspected members of the paramilitray.

Last week, the Regional Peace and Order Council – 11 issued a resolution demanding the closure of the church compound.

Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib was quoted as saying in a Philippine News Agency report that he moved for the compound’s closure as the indigenous peoples are supposedly exploited for “various terroristic activities.”

Photo by Kilab Multimedia

Human rights group Karapatan said in a statement that the resolution seeking to shut down the Church compound is “an act of blatant harassment against the displaced Lumad and those who provide sanctuary and support for distressed communities.”

At least 500 Lumad evacuees are being provided refuge after they were driven away from their ancestral domain due to intense militarization.

According to the SOS Network, the Church compound has been known for taking internally displaced indigenous peoples since 1994 and “has become a sanctuary for beleaguered indigenous people all over the region brought by militarization, land grabbing and the plunder of environment.”

Context of Talaingod incident | The decades-old struggle of Lumad in Pantaron Mountain Range for ancestral land, right to self-determination

“We are calling friends, network members and fellow human rights defenders to help and speak out,” SOS Network said. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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