Politics

Group calls for release of indigenous community members arrested during Davao City SONA rally

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A GROUP that campaigns for the rights of political prisoners on Tuesday called for the immediate release of two members of an indigenous peoples (IP) community who were arrested at a rally in Davao City during President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s first address to Congress on Monday.  

Kapatid, a support organization of families and friends of political prisoners in the Philippines, said brothers Ismael Pangdas, 22, and Mawing Pangdas, 19, were members of the Kabataan Party-list, which held a rally at a park designated for protest actions.  

The group said the brothers face “trumped-up politically motivated cases” under the new administration.  

“It is the height of irony that two Lumad (Visayan term for indigenous, used collectively by IPs in Mindanao) youths were arrested in what is supposed to be the Freedom Park of Davao City while their former Mayor and now Vice President and Secretary of Education also ordered the closure of Lumad schools as she paraded in Lumad Bagobo attire during the State of the Nation Address,” it said.  

Vice-President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio donned a traditional Bagobo Tagabawa dress at the President’s first SONA.  

Kapatid said the arrests showed that political repression and oppression of marginalized indigenous peoples will continue under the Marcos-Duterte administration. — John Victor D. Ordoñez