Guv eyes talks with evacuees; Katribu denounces eviction move

SunStar File

DESPITE the feeling of being "disrespected," Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano said Thursday, June 27, he is still open for a dialogue with the evacuees who were forced to vacate at the Capitol grounds on June 18.

"Hopefully magkaistorya (we could have talks) next week if they still respect me kay karon akong nakita, murag wala naman sila respeto sa ako (for now, what I have seen is that they no longer respect me)," Emano said.

The 30 displaced families from Sitio Camansi, Banglay, in Lagonglong town who stayed at the Capitol grounds for more than a year were driven out after they erected illegal structures.

The evacuees, who are now taking shelter at the United Church of Christ of the Philippines in Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City, have threatened to file human rights cases against the governor. But Emano said he is willing to face the charges.

"No matter how good we are, kami ra man gihapon gipakasala sa kahimtang (we are still being faulted at to the situation)," Emano said.

In a statement from Katribu Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, the group "expresses its utmost indignation to the recent spate of human rights violations and fascist attacks against indigenous peoples and communities."

Most of the evacuees from Lagonglong come from the Higaonon tribe, and Katribu cited their experience in their June 19 statement along with the plight of Mangyan communities in Oriental Mindoro, which they claimed to have undergone a series of harassment from State forces.

"We believe that the ongoing martial law in Mindanao, the de facto martial rule in other parts of the Philippines, the appointment of Retired Colonel Allen Capuyan as chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the red tagging of our organizations, trumped-up charges and killings of indigenous leaders and activists are parts of the repressive campaign implemented by the(President Rodrigo) Duterte’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict," the group said.

After driving out the evacuees from the Capitol premises, Emano said the Vicente de Lara Park will be closed to the public in an indefinite period depending on the recommendation of the police.

Emano said the capitol park will likely be opened next week should the top cop of the province recommends so.

"Hopefully next week. We will wait for the recommendation of Provincial police director (Rolando) Destura," Emano said.


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