Manila, Philippines –The women and men religious, priests and lay workers of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) joined the nation in condemning the soulless arson of Lumad camp at UCCP Haran, Davao City on the wee hours of February 24, 2016. This incident is suggestive that Lumad evacuees remain vulnerable from fascist attacks all the same in the countryside and town centers. The UCCP Haran served as one their sanctuaries in Mindanao that started in 2014 .
"Fascist attacks continue to hound them. With lands taken, displaced, threatened, now while already seeking refuge, their sanctuary was targeted by arson. This injustice is an addendum to the long list of rights abuses against the Lumad of Mindanao," RMP national coordinator Sr. Francis Añover, rsm said in a statement.
RMP said that many families are staying at UCCP Haran to escape abuses from the Philippine military and its para-military forces. They endure the hardships in living in makeshift homes and away from their farms or sources of livelihood. Determined to learn, the children continue their studies, but as result of the arson, they are faced anew with fear and trauma.
"It is apparent that they are not safe unless the military is pulled out from their ancestral communities and a stop to the killings," Añover said.
"We call on the religious community to join the indignation of the latest atrocity. We should work to help them live in an atmosphere of peace and freedom from violent attacks, and ultimately take back the lands seized from them," ended by Añover. ###
The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).