WSCF statement on harassment of Lumad people

March 7th, 2016 10:23 pm

The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) stands in solidarity with Lumad indigenous people of Mindanao and the United Church of Christ in Philippines (UCCP). We join the students and churches in condemning the burning of the church shelter for Lumad evacuees in Davao Philippines.

lumad harrassment

Photo by: National Council of Churches in the Philippines

The cry for justice for the Luman Indigenous People intensify as last February 24 2016 at 2’o clock dawn, unidentified men broke into the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Mission Center in Davao City Philippines pouring gasoline that burned down dwelling places of 700 Lumads seeking refuge inside the church compound. Fleeing from militarization and harassment, the Lumads took shelter in the church compound more than a year ago. Five people were injured, including three children in the blaze of what the UCCP Pastoral Letter describe as ”frustrated multiple murder” or arson confirmed by local Bureau of Fire Protection.

In a press conference organized by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) February 26 at their national headquarters in Manila, Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, General Secretary of UCCP asked, “why after one year of harassment and intimidation against the Lumad, the Philippine Government has not taken any action to protect them?” He added, “ the church is a sanctuary, it is doing its mission to serve the poor and marginalized people of God, why are we being targeted by violent forces? ”

In the UCCP Pastoral Letter issued by eight UCCP bishops entitled, “what they could not do in the light of day, they do so under the cover of darkness,” UCCP calls on their members and partners to join them in prayer and vigilance. They call for a thorough investigation of the incident and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, holding the Aquino government accountable for the series of attacks on the Church and Lumad people.

WSCF member movement in the Philippines, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) issued a statement calling for justice to the Lumad people and condemns the burning of the Lumad shelter in Davao, Philippines “It is reprehensible that the oppression of Lumad people continue without let-up!” SCMP spokesperson Anna Flores, “calls various groups, individuals and friends of the Filipino people to raise their voices against Lumad oppression.”

The World Student Christian Federation (WSCF), a global community of 105 student movements working for justice and peace joins the SCMP and the UCCP in condemning the attacks on the Lumad people and destroying the Haran church shelter in Davao Philippines. We invite all our members to pray for peace and justice for the Lumad people and call for a stop to the militarization, killings, harassment of the indigenous people and the churches. Stop the development aggression of mining companies exploiting and destroying the indigenous people ancestral land.

Reference: Necta Montes, Secretary General

26 February 2016

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