12 Sep No Hashtag Can Stop the Lumad Killings
by Weber Amores
(photo from the internet)
“It will get worst and ugly”.
Earlier this week we were bombarded by blameworthy headlines capitalized by the hashtag ‘stop Lumad killings’ or commonly seen as #stoplumadkillings.The Lumads, however common to the island of Mindanao, is not really a popular word to the rest of the country and to the world at large. Aside from the fact that they are indigenous, they are the first people of Mindanao. There are 17 ethnolinguistic lumad groups, and as it is normal to history, they too, like other tribal groups, have been displaced many times.
And in such case, due to intimidation caused by military and paramilitary groups, the Lumads have been divided and harassed in proportions now considerably alarming to the conscious society.
Yet, no matter how Humanitarian one becomes, these people will not be protected in as much as the Rule of Law is concerned because they are not a priority to any government agency, more so, to the executive.
They have been deprived of basic social services. This also contributed to the division of their groups, which has been happening throughout the course of a hundred years due to various considerable factors.
Since the Lumad people need to meet the challenges of the times, they had to cling to whatever support they can get. They had to learn and to adapt to the groups that are helping them. Mostly Christian and Islamic groups show concern in terms of medical aid and education.
In the process, they lost their identity. They lost their sense of oneness. And it faded their culture. Surely, they have been divided. And thousands of their children are still threatened with clearly no future ahead of them. This divide makes it easy for stronger forces to isolate and eliminate- one group at a time.
Their settlements, be it a school or just a small village, will always be attacked and occupied. These lands are ideal for the occupancy of military and paramilitary groups-making it hard for the indigenous people to sustain itself as a fully functioning community.
Due to resistance, many of their leaders have been killed. Dozens of them have been murdered in 2014.
And just recently, three members have been brutally killed. And an entire family massacred.
Why is this happening?
Yes, you read it right.
It is because of Gold.
The ancestral land of these people sits on one of the world’s largest deposit of natural resources, minerals, and Gold.
And you know why no hash tag can help them? It’s because the world values Gold more than human life. This is very evident in the context of history and the present times.
Gold is important for outer space explorations. Gold is important for medical resource and studies. Gold is important for commercialism. Gold is important for reserves and monetary stability. Gold is important for mining and the economy. Hence, Gold is important.
The way I perceive it, our government sees Gold as an important commodity to sustain progress (more important than the lives of the illiterate and uncivilized Lumads) – this should not be a surprise to you, as we have tons of approved mining operations across the country. In contrast, we lack attention to the education and medical care of our indigenous people.
The case in Mindanao is not rare but just new to the ears and eyes of the public. Most especially to the millennials – those who mostly frequent the internet and spread hash tags like viruses and wildfire.
Until there is measure to stop this, time will come that this will just be normal. And the memories of the Lumads will just be immortalized in the internet, books, and in your local museums.
These people suffer from society’s greed and our nation’s pursuit to greater heights.
Our self-indulged government officials will label them as refugees in hopes of moving them out of their land with less commotion and media hassle (good for their image) so digging can finally begin.
Clearly, as people of this country, this is insulting – it is a serious problem.
These brutality and rampant killings will be stopped when the government stops approving mining operations.
68 indigenous people are killed under the Aquino administration. 53 of them were Lumads from Mindanao.
Your hash tag is nothing but lip-service. It is not helping. You need to know more to act more.
And since there is no concrete action to resolve this, and everyone in the world of RP Politics is busy with their personal agenda for next year, no one will attend to this pressing concern.
This will get worst.