CLAIM: Lorraine Badoy, former spokesperson of the government’s anti-communist task force, recently called Manobo leader and former lawmaker Eufemia Cullamat a “tormentor” and “abuser” of the indigenous peoples (IP) after accusing her as an “operative” of communist groups.
In a show she co-hosted on SMNI on Thursday, July 28, Badoy said the criticism of Cullamat against Vice President Sara Duterte after wearing a traditional Bagobo Tagabawa attire is part of the “ploy” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) “to seek attention” after not being mentioned during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Badoy then accused Cullamat of enabling crimes against IPs thus “have no right to speak on behalf of them.” She also mentioned the persona non grata resolution against Cullamat.
The claim that “Lumad” is a term only made up by the CPP-NPA was also repeated by Badoy on the show.
Badoy has earned the moniker “serial red-tagger” for accusing groups and individuals as communists without basis.
Cullamat has been vilified multiple times for her work as a community leader and former lawmaker, but no substantive evidence has been presented yet to back up the accusations against her.
In a resolution issued by groups of IPs from Surigao del Sur, they declared Cullamat persona non grata in their ancestral domains for supposedly using her position as a Bayan Muna representative “to advance her interest and that of the CPP-NPA.” Cullamat called these allegations “baseless and fabricated”.
Before becoming a representative of the Bayan Muna Party-list for the 18th Congress from 2019 to 2022, Cullamat was a council member of Mapasu, an IP group in Caraga Region, in 2004. Since then, she has been vocal in their communities’ fight to defend their ancestral lands. There were leaders of Mapasu who were brutally killed because of their stance against militarization and mining.
A disqualification bid against members of the Makabayan bloc, which Bayan Muna is a part of, was also dismissed by Commission on Elections in 2020 for having “no leg to stand on.” In April 2019, petitioner Angela Aguilar alleged that the party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc are connected to the NPA.
Cullamat’s daughter, Jevilyn, was killed in an encounter with the military on November 28, 2020. But Cullamat said her daughter’s death should not be used as evidence against her party-list group, Bayan Muna: “Let me be clear. Bayan Muna has nothing to do with my daughter’s decision [to join the NPA],” she said. “That was her personal decision. Not mine, and especially not Bayan Muna’s.”
Two days after Marcos Jr.’s SONA, Sandugo, an alliance of national minorities, with Cullamat as their spokesperson, said they are “open to all those who wish to borrow their clothing, but they should also recognize [the national minorities’] rights and struggles.”
“Ang aming mga kasuotan ay sumasalamin sa aming kultura at tradisyon na pinanday ng aming karanasan at pakikibaka para proteksyunan ang aming komunidad at lahi,” Cullamat said, calling out Vice President Duterte’s previous red-tagging of Lumad schools in Mindanao. (Our clothing reflects our culture and traditions that are built by our experiences and struggles to protect our community and heritage.)
Meanwhile, Davao Today and other fact-check groups have already debunked the claim that “Lumad” is word only made up by the Communists.
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