Tell it to SunStar: Remember our Tumandok martyrs

Tell it to SunStar: Remember our Tumandok martyrs

The multisectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Panay and the human rights Panay Alliance Karapatan join the Tumandok people and their advocates and supporters in remembering our Tumandok martyrs and heroes on this third anniversary of the Tumandok massacre.

We raise our clenched fists to all the nine Tumandok leaders who were killed on December 30, 2020, and to other Tumandok martyrs who have offered their lives in the struggle for their lands and self-determination.

The massacre, coupled with succeeding comprehensive and intensified military attacks, including bombings and killings of civilians, red-tagging, forced surrenders, surveillance, illegal arrests and detention, threats, harassment, and intimidation, among others, have brought widespread fear and deep trauma to the Tumandok and the people of Panay.

But through the years, the Tumandok people and the Panayanons have struggled to overcome this setback and continue to assert their rights and take the streets to call for justice and an end to anti-people policies and militarization by the Marcos Jr. administration.

This year, all remaining charges against the Tumandok who have been imprisoned were dismissed at the local and appellate courts.

This only proves that the search warrants have been manufactured, and we continue the call to hold accountable those judges who issued the defective warrants that led to the untimely demise of nine Tumandok leaders and the traumatic effect these caused on the lives of the Tumandok people and Panayanons.

The Tumandok people, with the help of environmental human rights defenders, have also managed to meet with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Climate Change, Dr. Ian Fry, where their demands, calls for justice, and ongoing human rights violations were highlighted. In response, Dr. Fry echoed their demands to abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and junk the Anti-Terror Law.

We salute our Tumandok people for continually standing for their rights and we join them in their efforts to strengthen their ranks against the attacks and to assert further their rights and interests.

Let us remember the Tumandok martyrs and heroes of their struggles and join in the pursuit of justice and peace on the Tumandok lands. Let us join them in their call to stop the mega-dam constructions and intensifying militarization of their communities. (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Panay and Panay Alliance Karapatan)

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