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Halawod And The Indigenous Tumandok

Last December 30, nine indigenous Tumandok were massacred and 17 others were illegally arrested by police and military agents in Capiz province in the Philippines.

The Tumandok people, also known as Panay Bukidnon, lives in Central Panay island, around 600 kilometers from Manila. They are an indigenous people’s group with a population of 94,000 in the municipalities of Calinog, Janiuay, and Lambunao (Iloilo province) and Tapaz and Jamindan (Capiz province) with their ancestral domain and communities located along and within the Jalaur and Pan-ay Rivers. The Tumandok areas are the site of their spiritual and cultural roots, burial and sacred grounds, and livelihoods as slash-and-burn farmers, hunters and fisherfolks.

In 2018, Anna Katrina Tejero chronicled in her documentary Halawod (Into the Sea) the land dispossession faced by indigenous Tumandok with the construction of two mega-dams, the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project (JRMPP) in the Jalaur or Halawod River (in Calinog, Iloilo) and the Panay River Multipurpose Project (PRMPP) in Panay River (in Tapaz, Capiz).

These dams are under the construction of the government’s National Irrigation Administration (NIA) funded mostly by Korean and Chinese corporations.

The indigenous Tumandok are forced to sell their lands for 50,000 Pesos (around 1,000 USD) per hectare. For those without Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles, they will receive less. Those who disagree to sell face an expropriation case from NIA.

Since then, the Tumandok feared for the loss of their lands and threat to their lives as an increased number of combat-ready army and police troops have been poured into the locations of the two mega-dams.

Halawod bagged 3rd place for Documentary in Gawad Alternatibo 2019. Watch and share this film and join us in calling for justice for the victims of the Tumandok Massacre, and to stand in their defense of land, rights, and lives!

© Scoop Media

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