Lumad Mindanaw

Peoples Federation

 

LMPF

 

BACKGROUND OF THE ORGANIZATION AND THE LUMAD PEOPLES’ PROBLEM

The Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation (LMPF) started as “Lumad Mindanaw (LM) in 1980. It was organized by progressive networks and organizations popularly known as “Tribal Filipino Support Groups”. Most of these networks were church-based: Catholic apostolates; different organizations and institutions of the Protestant’s National Council of Churches in the Philippines-NCCP; advocates of human rights, justice and peace; progressive sectoral organizations of farmers, workers, women, youth and the like.

One of main programs of action of LM was the “struggle for the respect of Lumad rights to self-determination (RSD).” The Lumad Peoples, being one of the most oppressed and neglected sectors, naturally identified themselves with these support groups. For a decade or two, the Lumads and their territories became bases for guerrilla fronts. Large numbers of the members of the communities became active participants both in the meta-legal and underground movement as activists, propagandists and guerilla fighters. Even to this day, about 80% of the CNN combatants, controlled territories and “hostage” communities (masa) are Lumads.

After a decade of existence, the Lumad leader of LM sought to put substance to the program of RSD. However, this move contradicted the CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN) ideological perspective of classifying the Lumads as primitive communal, backward and unscientific. In due course, support to LM by the CNN (CPP-NPA-NDF) organs were withdrawn. This led to the weakening and eventual cessation of the former’s existence. The Lumad leaders themselves were hounded with various threats.

In the final moments of LM before it was abolished, the Lumad leaders were able to draft two important documents which articulated their vision as a united people: 1) The 1994 Mul’bulan Document that called for the restructuring of Lumad Mindanaw into a confederacy of genuine self-governing tribes and communities (adopting the concept of a “Peoples Federation”- Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation-LMPF; 2) the La Victoria Document which called for State recognition of the Lumad People’s rights and the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in form of a treaty, consistent with the spirit of the 1987 Constitution that mandated the protection of the Lumads…

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