Sinuda, Kitaotao, Bukidnon, October 29, 2011 – More than three thousand members of the Federation of Matigsalog Manobo Tribal Councils, Inc. (FEMMATRICS) joined the mass mobilization in the national highway of Davao-Bukidnon road. Leaders, elders, women and youth in their complete Indigenous attire held placards and streamers along the highway with the following messages: Ancestral Domain is not for sale, Respect Customary Laws, Our Ancestral Domain is for our next generation. The rally was also to inform the public and the government that they are united in protecting their rights and their ancestral domains.
Datu Lito Gawilan, chair of FEMMATRICS further emphasized part of their protest is to affirm and strengthen consolidated efforts at protecting their ancestral domain. The street activity was also part of the national Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) month celebration.
There have been continuing harassment and rampant land grabbing of Matigsalog and Manobo Ancestral domains. Some of the settlers also deliberately do not pay any respect to the tribes’ sacred places.
The route of the peace caravan started from Palacapao, Kipolot of Quezon Bukidnon to Raware, Tawas, Lorega of Kitaotao and headed towards Salumay, Baganihan, Katipunan, Kampo Uno, Ladian, Marahan, Balite, Marilog proper of Marilog District, Davao City. For each station, a speaker of such activity shared a 10-minute sharing on updates and issues and concerns of their Ancestral Domain.
During the street mass mobilization, the participants distributed leaflets outlining their demands to the bystanders.
The peace caravan ended at 6:30 in the evening.