Opening Statement – IP Press Conference

December 6, 2018

Native Mindanawons include the: Subanen, Manobo, B'laan, T'boli, Mandaya, Mansaka, Tiruray, Higaonon, Bagobo, Bukidnon, Tagakaolo, Banwaon, Dibabawon, Talaandig, Mamanua, and, Manguangan.

 

The Armed Forces of the Philippines stands by its statement linking Satur Ocampo and France Castro, among other personalities engaged in mainstream politics, to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

 

For one, Satur Ocampo has a pending case for multiple counts of murder for the 1985 Inopacan, Leyte massacre of NPA members suspected as government spies. He stands accused alongside NPA stalwarts Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, Vicente Ladlad, Randal Echaniz, and Rafael Baylosis.

 

On the other hand, groups such as Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Gabriela, and Kabataan among others are known CPP-NPA front organizations operating under the umbrella of the National United Front Commission of the CPP.

 

These groups, in tandem with the International Department of the CPP, are the ones responsible in exploiting the Indigenous Peoples to gain monetary support from unaware foreign donors through the International Solidarity Movement.

 

This goes to show that the activities of Ocampo and Castro in Talaingod is part of a bigger machinery and scheme involving what the CPP-NPA has dubbed as ‘lumad schools’ namely the Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. Academy, Assumption Interfaith Academy Foundation, Father Fausto Tentorio Memorial School, Mindanao Community Agricultural School Foundation Inc, Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao Del Sur, Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, and Center for Lumad Advocacy and Networking, Inc.

 

These schools are at the center of CPP-NPA exploitation of the native Mindanawons  who are being radicalized at a very young age by CPP-NPA supporters who pose as concerned teachers. The indoctrination is meant to prepare the IP youth to become NPA cadre in the future. In fact, 75% of all NPA fighters in Mindanao are made up of IPs.

 

The incident in Talaingod manifests that the indigenous people are already fighting back and are resisting the efforts of the CPP-NPA, with Castro and Ocampo and other CPP-NPA personalities we have already arrested, to encroach in IP domains and exploit their children.

 

The AFP cannot stand idly by while people like Ocampo and Satur kidnap IP children away from their families to be used as mascots for their international solidarity works. This does not only endanger the children and their future, but also humiliate the indigenous peoples of Mindanao and degrade their proud culture.

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