In a dialogue, indigenous peoples and Moro asked Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to shut down destructive large-scale mining.
“The Lumád who were killed there were those who joined the NPA.”
“People showed defiance, assertion and grit. And because they have been wounded, they will even be more assertive next time.”
“Mr. Sumalbag and the other victims of the violent dispersal wish not to be approached, interviewed and/or asked for any statements without our presence and assistance as their counsels.”
“When we sit down with the President, we will not only brief him on what actually happened during the dispersal. We will also take that opportunity to explain to him the calls and demands of national minorities.”
At Mendiola Bridge, the same calls were heard: to defend the ancestral lands, pullout soldiers and paramilitary groups in the communities and give justice to slain victims. Only louder this time, and interspersed with “Death to US Imperialism!”
“We see no difference between the paramilitary groups and the Manila police who showed us the same brutality.”
“Sandugo condemns this as a terrorist act by the PNP.”
“Today, we witnessed how even our local security forces are keen on employing violent tactics to quell the dissent of the marginalized and the oppressed.”
“Once again, the Armed Forces of the Philippines proved its sheer paranoia.”
Protesters decried the continuing attacks against their leaders and communities, and the injustice for victims of the past administration.