ON JULY 16, students of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) Academy and Center for Lumad Advocacy and Networking, Inc. (CLANS) conducted a program in their camp in front of the Department of Education Region 12 office to greet the first day of Allan G. Farnazo as regional director. Together with their teachers and parents, they challenged Farnazo to issue the Lumad schools with permits to operate and to demilitarize their communities in Barangay Basak, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.
They attempted to submit a letter containing their calls and data on violations perpetrated by the military against the rights of the Lumad in schools and communities, but no one from the office received the letter. They were able to document 225 cases of attacks with eight cases of forcible evacuation, eight illegal arrests, 67 cases of threats, harassment and intimidation, four cases of destruction of school and private property, and 11 cases of violation of domicile.
The data came from the National Fact Finding Mission conducted by the Save Our Schools Network on June 27-30 to probe the incidents of harassment perpetrated by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 2 since they entered and encamped in the said community on May 10.
On July 9, the Lumads held an early T’nalak Festival to condemn the refusal of then Director Arturo Bayucot to hold a dialogue with them.
[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the