KITAOTAO, BUKIDNON – Actress, activist and global director of the One Billion Rising movement Monique Wilson visited the Lumad community schools early this week in Kitaotao, Bukidnon in solidarity of their campaign against militarization.
Traveling across muddy trails, Monique arrived at Barangay Cabalantian where she was greeted by 300 Matigsalug Lumads.
The actress said her visit is a solidarity of the global campaign One Billion Rising for women’s rights and justice, saying that the women’s movement shows support to the indigenous peoples all around the world.
The continuous struggle of Lumads and Lumad school children in Mindanao, affected by Oplan Bayanihan and attacks on schools, have gained worldwide attention.
The Matigsalug Lumads that Monique met suffered from military attacks last 2015 that displaced some 41 families or 170 people from their village Barangay White Culaman and this was followed by the forced closure of the Lumad school by the village chieftain. They are now residing in Cabalantian and Sagundanon as White Culaman remains militarized.
Monique said the struggles of the indigenous peoples in the country has inspired indigenous peoples such as the Native Americans in North Dakota to defend their land from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Monique is scheduled to visit other Lumad community schools in Southern Mindanao in the coming days.