Migrante-Europe strongly condemns the raid by government forces on a Lumad Bakwit school at the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus in Cebu city, resulting in the arrest of 25 people, including 2 teachers and 2 Lumad elders.

Migrante-Europe stands with the Lumads who are under attack because of their strong opposition against plunder of the environment and development aggression in their communities the form of mineral extraction; land-use conversion of ancestral land into corporate-agribusiness producing cash-crops for export and food that do not address the food security of the Filipino people; illegal logging by big foreign and local businesses that are made sacred and protected by the Duterte government. The Lumads of Mindanao and other indigenous peoples in many parts of the country have been victims of violence through intensified operations of the military in their communities; rampant red-tagging and vilifying of their community leaders and members; desperately filing of trumped up charges in court; illegal raids; and extra-judicial killings.

Today, government security forces who are constitutionally mandated to protect the Filipino people has once again wield its iron fist rule by perpetuating the same attack and persecution to our Lumad brothers and sisters in remote villages and communities even as they seek sanctuary in the cities.

Through the raid of the Lumad Bakwit School in Cebu City in the guise of rescue operation using the parents of the indigenous students, the fascist Duterte government once again showed its divide and rule tactic of creating an atmosphere of disunity among the community and family household of indigenous peoples. Migrante-Europe, however believes that such a ploy will never succeed because the rights to land, resources and livelihood of every indigenous people is the greatest unifying interest of the indigenous peoples community who fully understand that the people and community that are united will never be defeated.

We call on the Filipino diaspora around the world to unite! Let us journey in solidarity with our indigenous peoples in the defense of the their ancestral lands and their right to determine their community development.
Hands Off Environmental Activists!
Hands Off Lumad rights defenders!
Makibaka! Wag Matakot!

Rodney Pasion
Secretary General
February 15 2021