The monument to the three martyrs of the anti-Chico Dam struggle during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship was demolished by suspected police personnel last Wednesday, January 13, in Tinglayan, Kalinga province.
The metal panels featuring the faces of Ama Macliing Dulag, Ama Lumbaya Gayudan and Ama Pedro Dungoc were removed from the Anti-Chico Dams Struggle Monument platform located along the Bontoc-Kalinga road.
The monument’s commemorative inscription was likewise removed.
Barangay Bugnay village officials and the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA) point to members of the Philippine National Police as the perpetrators of the desecration, Northern Dispatch reported.
The Police Advisory Council of the Kalinga Provincial Police Office recommended the monument’s removal in September last year.
Last October, the Department of Public Works and Highways issued a notice to the CPA that the monument violated road right of way.
According to an Inquirer report, the upper Kalinga district engineering office said the monument “lies 4.10 meters from the centerline of the road” and that it “encroached [on] or is within the road right-of-way of the national road.”
In the same report, however, the CPA said the memorial lies within the property of Macli-ing’s son, Robert, and should not be removed without permission from the family and the community.
Pushing it farther from the road would be improbable because it was perched near a cliff, the group added.
In November last year, a petition was launched on change.org saying the monument’s removal is “a brazen act of obliterating the Cordillera people’s history of struggle against oppression and injustice.”
“It is part of the government’s acts of historical revisionism or distorting and erasing the true history of the people’s resistance and heroism which remain relevant until today,” the petition said.
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, a group dedicated to the preservation of anti-Marcos martial law heroes, also said it opposes the plan to demolish the monument.
The site is “a precious heroes’ marker in Kalinga province, and urges government to cherish and protect the monument for the inspiration of all Filipino ethnic peoples,” the group said.
Unveiled in April 2017, the marker also honored other Cordillera heroes—Kathlyn Iyabang-Atumpa, Guzman Gunday, Julio Dulanag, Pingwot Dawing, Yag-ao Ebulwang, Daniel Ijog, Orchag Olyog, Simeon Talis, Dalunag Dawadaw, Gaspar Yag-ao and Elena Edpis—whose names were also etched on the marker. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)