Quezon City – Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU), together with the Sulong Katribu Partylist, Stop the Killings of Indigenous Peoples Network and Save Our Schools Network, held a picket in front of the North Gate of the Congress and filed a letter for Catamco’s dismissal at the House of Representatives. The enraged protesters throw packs of mud at the image of Catamco with a backdrop of caricatures of the military and Oplan Bayanihan.
KATRIBU, the Philippines’ largest indigenous people’s alliance, called for the immediate dismissal of Rep. Nancy Catamco as Chairperson of the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples for instigating an unwanted rescue of Manobo evacuees in Davao City, leaving 18 people hurt, disrupted a class being, and left the Manobo children traumatized.
“Catamco has proven that she does not genuinely represent us. On the contrary, she is now an emissary of death for the Manobo evacuees. She used the local police and ALAMARA, a vicious paramilitary group, to instigate an unwanted rescue. She is also forcing them to return to their militarized homes, which they have escaped from due to intensified harassment by the military,” said Piya Malayao, Secretary General of KATRIBU.
Catamco was also caught insulting the evacuees, calling them “stinky”, and disrespecting a Lumad leader during a dialogue. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also slammed Catamco for her incompetence and disregard for local government protocol when she ordered the police to act with her.
“Catamco is not fit to head an important committee in Congress. Catamco stands with the military and acts as their spokesperson. Catamco will endanger not only the Manobo evacuees in Davao but also all IP groups in the Philippines. She is a loose cannon and a vigilante group coddler. It is unbecoming for a representative to engage in gangsterism and harassment, and this will not be the last if she is to be tolerated. We therefore urge House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to immediately remove Rep. Catamco as the chairperson of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Also, we call on Speaker Belmonte to order the House Ethics Committee to immediately investigate the conduct of Catamco as a legislator,” explained Malayao.
KATRIBU also called for the investigation of Catamco’s instigation, her warning to pull out the children and women from the camp during a dialogue with the evacuees. “Her words gave the go signal to the attack and raid of the sanctuary in UCCP Haran, and even undermined Mayor Duterte’s order not to conduct any action without his presence in the City,” Malayao added. #