Human rights group Karapatan condemned the arrest of a Lumad school alumnus and now volunteer teacher in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Caraga on Monday (June 17).
According to Karapatan Caraga, Lumad-Manobo teacher Gary Campos was arrested while on his way to a review center to prepare for the upcoming licensure exam for teachers around 1:00 in the afternoon. By 8:00 p.m., he was able to contact his friends and tell them of his arrest.
The Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Lumad School positively identified Campos as one of their alumni, and a leading figure in their fight to defend their ancestral land and for self determination.
Campos is also a graduate of Lumad school Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS), and volunteered to teach in the same school upon graduation “to serve back to his communities.”
“Si Gary ay aming alumnus. Nagturo siya sa mga paaralan Lumad upang magsilbi sa kanilang komunidad,” Alcadev said.
(Gary was our alumnus. He teaches in Lumad schools to serve his community.)
He is also a member of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod, a Lumad organization defending the Lumad’s ancestral rights in Andap Valley against large-scale mining corporations.
“Kasama siya sa laban sa large-scale, open-pit coal mining ng pamilyang Romualdez-Marcos na dekada nang bigong mag-operate sa lupang ninuno ng mga Lumad-Manobo sa Andap Valley,” they added.
(He’s one in the fight against large-scale, open-pit coal mining of the Romualdez-Marcos family who, for decades, have failed to operate in the ancestral land of Lumad-Manobo in Andap Valley.)
“With the help of the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate scholarship program of the Diocese of Tandag, he was able to finish his education degree at St. Theresa’s College-Tandag,” Karapatan Caraga added. “He currently volunteers as a teacher at a local school in Tandag City under the Department of Education.”
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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