IP groups declare Cullamat ‘persona non grata’
By Marita Moaje / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – A group of Indigenous Cultural Communities/ Indigenous Peoples (ICC/IP) from Surigao del Sur has issued a unified resolution calling for the ouster of Bayan Muna party-list Representative Eufemia Cullamat.
The Provincial Tribal Council (PTC) consisting of the Manobo, Mandaya, and the Mamanwa ICC/IP announced on Monday during the Tagged virtual media briefing of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that the September 2 resolution issued in Lianga, Surigao del Sur denounced Cullamat and declared her persona non grata in their ancestral domains.
Datu Rico Maca, Municipal Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative of San Miguel town and a former municipal tribal chieftain, said 126 IP tribes nationwide backed the resolution.
“Kaya kami dun sa unified resolution dito sa Caraga, nagpalabas kami ng persona non grata against kay Eufemia Cullamat na talagang hindi siya welcome dito sa aming ancestral domain dahil siya pala ang banta sa kinabukasan ng aming kabataan dito (In our unified resolution here in Caraga, we issued a persona non grata declaration against Eufemia Cullamat, that she is no longer welcome in our ancestral domains because we realized that she is the threat to our youth),” Maca said.
He added that tribal leaders and members have been killed but Cullamat wants justice only for those supporting the New People’s Army (NPA).
The resolution stated that ICC and the IP in Caraga Region have been suffering from “decades of manipulation, misrepresentation, and atrocities executed by left-leaning organizations, terrorist groups, and their supporters”.
It further stated that communist terrorist groups controlled the tribes and used their ancestral domains as well as their resources in the guise of helping and promoting development in IP areas.
“Eufemia Cullamat, the representative of Bayan Muna, does not represent the ICCs/IPs of Caraga Region. Her acts and deeds in Congress do not represent the aspirations of the ICCs/IPs,” the resolution read.
The resolution added Cullamat is only using her position to advance her interest and that of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.
The PTC said Congress should not recognize Cullamat’s claim as representative of the ICC/IP of Caraga, particularly Surigao del Sur, and disqualify her.
The resolution likewise declared full support behind National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chair, Secretary Allen Capuyan, and Regional Director and laywer Marlon Bosantog, who have “given all their genuine efforts to promote the rights and welfare of the ICCs/IPs”.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)