THE Kalumbay regional Indigenous Peoples (IPs) organization called the 1st Indigenous Peoples Mindanao Cluster Convergence Summit "bogus and fake" on Wednesday’s protest outside the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Cagayan de Oro City.
Kalumbay chairperson Datu Jomorito Goaynon said the summit's intention was really to lure in and control the invited IP groups to sell their ancestral lands to big corporations.
"Gipili lamang nga mga lumad ang ilang gikonsulta ug dili kadtong tinuod gyud nga nagpanalipod sa katawhang lumad (They invited lumad groups and not those who really are defending the rights of the IP community)," he said.
"Kami nabalaka ug nahadlok nga basin unya mopagawas napud ug unity statement kining maong summit nga naga-ingon nga okay na ang lumad sa martial law(We are worried that they will release a unity statement saying that the lumads are okay with martial law), okay na ang lumad sa padayon nga ginahimo ni President Duterte nga pasudlan ug mga langyaw na mga korporasyon ang among mga ancestral land (that we are okay with President Duterte's policy to allow foreign companies grab our ancestral land)," he added.
Goaynon questioned why IP groups from Caraga and Southern Mindanao regions were invited but not the groups from Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao.
Mayor Oscar Moreno said the IP summit is a significant move of the National Government to unite IP groups in an aim to address the insurgency in Mindanao.
Moreno said it is also important to acknowledge that the New People's Army's (NPA) recruitment now focuses on infiltrating vulnerable sector, such as the lumads.
"We have to acknowledge that we have a problem on insurgency in Mindanao, and another one is the Moro issue so we are thankful with this initiative by Secretary Evasco, because he intends to understand the issue and bring closer IP groups together to solve the issues we face," he said.
"If you want Mindanao nga ma level up, we cannot do that on a fragmented basis, no one must be left behind and our move should be inclusive because no matter how successful you are, if there are areas in Mindanao where peace and order is still not stable, this will also affect the successful areas," he added.
Present at the third day of the IP Summit were Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, 4th Infantry Division (4ID) Commander Major General Ronald Villanueva, and other local government officials.