About a hundred lumad evacuees and their families are now heading home after negotiations with government officials have guaranteed their safety and support for rehabilitation.
The lumads include 100 Manobos or 27 families from Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte; three families from Bukidnon and others from Agusan.
They are the last of the remaining UCCP Haran bakwets, as they arrived one tribe after the other at the church early 2015 to protect themselves and their teachers from attacks from soldiers and the para-military group ALAMARA.
The Talaingod Mano-bos returned late Septem-ber.
A solidarity night was held Saturday night with UCCP leaders and support groups who bid the lumads well in their return.
“UCCP Haran wishes the bakwits to continue the struggle and call for your rights on your land. You are always welcome to come back when threats in your community arise,” Beryl Grace Avila of UCCP Haran Center Manager said.
UCCP Bishop Hamuel Tequis expressed his support to Lumad Bakwits and cited, ” Your presence here influenced the church to have hope and struggle for unity. You became our inspiration to value and love our land, our ancestral land.”
Gloria Arcenas of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)~Save Our Schools and Bea Gonzaga of Stereo de Davao SAMAHAN Cen-tral Board came to express their continuous support on their struggle.
Datu Mintroso Mali-bato, leader of the Kapa-long Manobos and their group Karadyawan ex-pressed thanks to all who supported the lumad bak-wets since day one.
Mintroso said they return with the guarantee from the Department of Social Welfare to grant the PASAKA’s proposal of Cash for Work, Food for Work program and rehabi-litation support programs for them from four to seven months as they strive to reintegrate their lives to their communities. Kilab Multimedia