IT WAS not the first time that the Lumads at UCCP Haran Center was visited by a star.
Still, many of them were star-struck when Jodi Sta. Maria (or more known with her screen name as “Amor Powers” in one of her teleseryes) walked in with a smile for everyone.
She also visited the children in their makeshift classrooms, and personally gave them bags and school supplies.
“Huwag niyong hayaan na makuha ‘yung pag-asa na nasa puso ninyo, yong pangarap na isang araw babalik kayo sa lupa ninyo. ‘yun ang huwag niyong i-give up (Don’t let them take the hope in your heart that one day you will be back to your land, never give it up),” was Ms. Jodi’s inspiring message to the Lumad kids.
Four lumad children in UCCP Haran sanctuary were hurt when fire was set off in their evacuation shelter early 2 am at February 24. Two dormitory buildings in the church compound was also torched down minutes after the incident.
Manobo leaders and the UCCP heads filed charges against police, military officials and Congresswoman Nancy Catamco over the attack at UCCP Haran last July 23 that left 15 injured and
The complaint filed by Bishop Hamuel Tequis of UCCP Southeastern Mindanao and leaders of Salugpongan, charged North Cotabato 2nd District Representative Nancy Catamco, Davao City Police Deputy Director Colonel Marvin Pepino, PNP Regional Intelligence Office Head Col. Filmore Escobal, and Colonel Jake Obligado of Eastern Mindanao Command as responsible for the incident.
They are charged with violations to the Revised Penal Code on seven provision including Usurpation of Authority or Official Function, Physical Injuries Inflicted in a Tumultuous Affray, Serious Physical Injuries, Qualified Trespass to Dwelling, Grave Threats, Grave Coercion, and Malicious Mischief.
Also charged are leaders of the paramilitary group Alamara which the Salugpongan leaders claimed instigated the attack. This is the same paramilitary that has been harassing them in Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
(Photos courtesy of Davao Today. Read coverage of the case filing here)
Police and other state forces barged their way into the UCCP Haran last July 23 Thursday in an alleged attempt to “rescue” the 700 Manobo evacuees.
Some 15 lumads were injured from their attempt to block the shield and stick-wielding police. The incident disrupted classes of some 180 Manobo children inside the compound who were rushed into a safer place in the compound.
Watch the footage of the incident from Kilab Multimedia.
The clash fizzled after Davao City Vice Mayor Paulo Duterte intervened and allowed the Manobo evacuees to decide who wanted to leave the shelter and take the free transportation provided by authorities. Not one Manobo evacuee volunteered.
The Save Our Schools Network joins the Manobo evacuees in condemning the police attack. They blame North Cotabato 2nd District Congresswoman Nancy Catamco for instigating the attack after announcing that she will get them out of the compound.
The group condemns Catamco for ignoring the real issue of the Lumads which is the presence of military and paramilitary troops in their villages.