Press Release
February 25, 2016


Leading presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe urged police to hasten its investigation into the burning of a lumad dormitory in Davao City Wednesday morning as she reiterated her call to demilitarize the lumad communities in Mindanao.

"We condemn this act against the lumad evacuees to the highest level. We call on the authorities to investigate at once the incident, get to the bottom of things and punish the perpetrators. We also call for the demilitarization of lumad communities and to respect their right to determine their own path to prosperity based on their culture and beliefs," Poe said.

"Napakahirap na po ng buhay ng ating mga lumad, 'yung mapagkaitan sila ng payapang buhay, edukasyon at pirming tirahan. Kung mapatunayang ang pagsunog na ito sa evacuation camp ay sinasadya, kailangang panagutin agad kung sino man ang responsable sa nangyaring ito," said Poe.

Five lumad--including two children--were hurt when unidentified men burned down a dormitory in Haran Center at dawn on Wednesday. The place serves as an evacuation camp for Manobos from Davao del Norte and Bukidnon who fled the atrocities in their communities.

Last year, Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 1572, seeking an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the lumad killings that had become more frequent and brazen. She called on lawmakers to formulate legislative measures protecting, furthering and improving the welfare of various indigenous peoples and tribes in the Philippines.

Poe denounced the closure of schools and the threats to teachers who serve in lumad communities.

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