Gabriela opposes DSWD Sec proposal to relocate Lumads

Oct. 07, 2015

DAVAO CITY – A Partylist lawmaker said the proposal to relocate the Lumad evacuees in Surigao del Sur could be connected to mining and logging interests in the ancestral lands.

Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said “we see only two reasons why Secretary Dinky Soliman is offering relocation to the Lumad evacuees instead of facilitating a peaceful return to their ancestral lands”.

“One is that Soliman is in cahoots with the mining and logging interests that seek to plunder ancestral lands once the Lumads have been driven away and; there are kickbacks to be gained in the building of Lumad relocation shelters.”

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman, during her recent visit to the evacuation camp in the provincial sports complex in Tandag City, said they have plans to look for a site where to build core shelters for the evacuees. The internally displaced persons from five towns have reportedly reached to 4,191 as of October 5.

“In offering Lumad evacuees relocation, Sec. Soliman simply refuses to understand and see the reasons behind the Lumads’ displacement,” said Ilagan.

The lawmaker reiterated the Lumads’ call for the immediate pullout of AFP units and paramilitaries in Lumad communities “so that the Lumads can peacefully return home.”

“They have been forced to evacuate several times and they have been victimized several times. We must heed their calls and not allow the Lumads to be victimized over again,” she said.(

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