‘We will pull out’—26th IB


March 18, 2015 – After months since evacuating from their communities, Lumad Bakwits in Brgy. Balit San Luis, Agusan Del Sur may finally be able to return to their homes as army officials promised to pull out from civilian facilities and cease camping near populated areas.

This declaration was made by no less than Lt. Col. Ricardo Dumawa, Batallion Commander of the Army’s 26th IB during a dialogue set at Balit’s baranggay hall. Local officials represented by Agusan Del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza and San Luis Mayor Ronaldo Corvera also reminded troops that these were prohibited. The Lumad leaders who attested to the truthfulness of their claims against the army’s abuses could not help but applaud in agreement. Local officials likewise assured the Lumads of a safe passage and food assistance as they return to their communities.


Witnessing the dialogue were more than 200 placard bearing Banwaon Bakwits who valiantly marched from their evacuation site where they have been staying since January of this year.

This recent development sent waves of relief to the lumad bakwits and their support groups who have painstakingly pieced together a vigorous campaign to remove the operating troops in the area who are responsible for a plethora of abuses including camping in civilian facilities such as village halls and Lumad schools, recruiting paramilitary forces and being implicated in the killing of village chief Necasio Precioso Sr.

“The urgent dialogue set up by the local government was their reaction to a multifaceted and vigorous effort to pressure them to act; from sustained protest actions, camp-out protest, lobbying efforts, dialogue with the Army’s Eastern Mindanao in Davao, international solidarity mission and others,” says Kalumbay Chairman Jomorito G. Goaynon.

The municipal mayor also volunteered to visit one of the eight Lumad schools which ceased operations after being affected by militarization to better know the program and its staff for local coordination.

Goaynon adds that key to the success of the campaign was the courage mustered by the lumads to face the armed forces who terrorized their communities. ###

(Repost from RMP-NMR)

LARAWAN: The Balit Mission

An international journey in defense of the displaced Banwaon
Butuan City
March 8-9, 2015

On January 23 of this year, 174 Banwaon families (composed of around 1,000 individuals, approximately 80% of whom are women and children) from the communities of Kimambukagyang, Tabon-tabon, Tabanganan, Nakadayas, Pig-ulingan, Mimpalaos, Maputi, Kandiisan, Tambo and KM 48 went on a massive exodus to the village center of Balit in the municipality of San Luis, Agusan del Sur. They were running from forced development.


Orientation before the mission at Missionary Sisters of Mary, Butuan City.


Participants from Cagayan De Oro.


Aldeem Yanez, ISM Coordinator, Ecumenical Bishop Forum, North West Mindanao


Municipality of San Luis, Agusan Del Sur



LOBBYING: ISM delegates with Vice Mayor Jose Chua of San Luis, Agusan Del Sur



San Luis Municipal Police Station



PINSP Rodel Razon Dorado of San Luis Municipal Police Station: Necasio’s case is still under investigations.




Military elements were seen inside the barangay hall of Nuevo Trabajo, Balit, Agusan Del Sur.




Military camp at Balit, Agusan Del Sur, a few meters from the Banwaon evacuation center.




Displaced Banwaon families from 14 communities of San Luis, Agusan Del Sur.