LEGAZPI CITY, 31Oct2015 — “Justice delayed is justice denied. After violating the rights of thousands of Lumad, the AFP battalions and its paramilitary forces are still wrecking havoc and terror in Mindanao. We have to see them out of schools and communities immediately.”
This is the reaction of League of Filipino Students (LFS) National Spokesperson Charisse Banez to former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima’s statement at the 4th Mindanao Tribal Leaders Congress last Thursday.
“51 Lumad were already killed and more than 4,000 people of Mindanao were displaced in their lands. There are 13 cases of massacres and 203 cases of trumped-up charges. More than 1,000 students are affected by the attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 81 schools. Even after starting the protest caravan in Manila, attacks on the Lumad continue. The people of Mindanao need quick actions and speedy resolutions, not promises,” said Banez.
According to the youth leader, De Lima’s statement is disgustingly covering Aquino’s accountability. She reiterated that the military activities and human rights violations by the AFP are in accordance to the regime’s National Internal Security Plan called Oplan Bayanihan.
Banez also reminded De Lima that the increase of mining and logging activities of foreign corporations intensified the militarization in Mindanao. She added that as Aquino became more desperate to open the lands of Mindanao to foreign control and ownership, the military activities became more ruthless by the day.
“Above anyone else, Aquino should be held responsible for taking away the rights and lives of the Lumad. Because of his thirst to attract foreign corporations, the government is willing to kill and violate our people,” said Banez.
Banez reiterated that they will not stop until the immediate demands of the Lumad and people of Mindanao are met – the immediate pull-out of AFP troops and its paramilitary forces and the re-opening of Lumad alternative schools.