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By Prince Golez

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the recent “unlawful” arrest of seven anti-mining leaders in Misamis Oriental.

Seven Lumads – Datu Reynaldo Ayuma, Pablita Hilogon, Glenn Hilogon, Bambi Hilogon, Toto Hilogon, Jun-Jun Ayoman, and Jesson Langka, were arrested during the conduct of raid by combined elements of soldiers and policemen in Purok 6, Barangay Blanco, Balingasag last June 26.

High-powered rifle magazines were allegedly found in simultaneous raids.

In a statement, the CPP called on local and international environmentalists and human rights advocates to “look into the escalating incidents of abuses perpetrated by the Duterte fascist regime against anti-mining communities while fast-tracking the enactment of the fascist Anti-Terror Bill.”

Contrary to government claims, the rebel group said Ayuma and his companions are not members of the New People’s Army, but “active community leaders opposing mining, logging and ecotourism operations in Mt. Balatukan where their community is situated.”

The seven Lumads were originally from Sitio Camansi, Barangay Banglay in Lagonglong town, and were among residents who evacuated from the said community in 2018 due to intense military operations and attacks against them, they added.

“The victims have long been subjected to Red tagging and harassment by the regime’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict because of leading their community’s opposition against expansion plans of multinational companies in the area,” the CPP said.

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