In 2016, almost 3000 Moro and indigenous peoples arrived in Manila from different parts of the country to assert their right to self determination, including their right to ancestral lands and control of all resources within their ancestral lands. 

Datu Jimboy Mandaguit (right) was one of several Lumad leaders who participated in last year’s Lakbayan. He hails from the Tigwahanon Manobo people of Bukidnon. On July 2016, during a wedding celebration, members of the paramilitary group NIPAR indiscriminately fired upon Datu Jimboy’s people, resulting in the death of a pregnant woman and injuries to dozens of others, mostly children and the elderly. 

The Tigwahanon Manobos under Datu Jimboy’s leadership have been fighting an uphill battle against plantation and mining companies that want to exploit the Tigwahanon Manobo’s ancestral lands. Their assertion of their right to self determination and struggle against development aggression has already cost the Manobo Lumad peoples of Mindanao dozens of lives, many of them killed by suspected military agents of paramilitary forces employed by the State security establishment. Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration alone, 19 indigenous peoples have already been killed, many of them from the Mindanao Lumad. 

In addition, large scale mining companies are opposing the confirmation of Department of the Environment and Natural Resources secretary Gina Lopez, who has shown herslef a supporter of indigenous people’s rights and a staunch opponent of large-scale destructive mining projects. (Photo published by AscentPH)

#RightToDevelopment #SelfDetermination #indigenousRights #StopLumadKillings #confirmGina

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