Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sumilao Update: Metro Manila Leg - Day 3

The Sumilao farmers who marched from Bukidnon yesterday performed a MANLITOB. Its a ritual to appease the spirits of what they did and what they will be doing in the future. This is the start of their SINAMPO, a prayer for the king of Tagibugta, the spirit of the earth.

The men shaved their heads, an act that goes against their Higaonon culture. This was done by 30 male members of the group to symbolize that everything had been taken from them. The ritual was done at the San Miguel office in Pasig City.

The farmers gained the support of Cardinal Rosales who served as bishop of Bukidnon for 11 years. He sent a letter to GMA asking her to turn over the estate to the farmers. Ateneo de Manila University officials led by their president, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres signed a manifesto of support for the farmer's claim to the land.

DAR sec. Nasser Pangandaman has taken steps to address the issue. He made an ocular inspection of the disputed land. He had also asked the DAR's Center for Land Use Policy, Planning and Implementation to present him their recommendation on the matter.

The farmers will camp out in front of the DAR office until their case is resolved. I am glad that the Inquirer has been covering this issue and has daily updates on the progress of the march and the case as well. I hope that bloggers would join me and Gari Lazaro in spreading the word on the plight of our brothers from Bukidnon. As of late, nothing has been heard from Juan Miguel Zubiri who hails from Bukidnon (but was overwhelmingly voted by the Comelec of Maguindanao). The said senator cannot even serve his province mates much less the nation.

*For a more detailed information of the Sumilao case, you may check Gari Lazaro's blog.