Surigao Tribes hail slain IP leader as hero

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Lianga, Surigao Del Sur – Surigao tribal leaders and members and the local
government unit of Lianga rendered Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR), Datu Jumar S. Bucales a hero’s burial parade on October 10 in Diatagon, Lianga.

His heroics include his dedication to preserve and develop the culture of the Manobo tribe through the establishment of DepEd Schools of Living Tradition (DepEd-SLT) and his fight against Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP’s) exploitation and corruption of IPs.

Bucales was honored with a long parade in Lianga town proper and about a thousand tribes from Surigao and Eastern Mindanao, local government officials, IPMRs, friends, supporters and relatives flocked in the long walk to carry his remain to his final resting place.

Bayan Muna representative Eufemia Campos Cullamat, her sister, CNT-linked Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) and Northeastern
Mindanao NPA Terrorist spokesperson Sandara Sidlakan accused Bucales to have participated in the killing of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Executive Director, Emerito Samarca but the accusation was eventually found baseless.

CPP Information Officer, Marco Valbuena in his statement claimed that the Communist NPA Terrorists were responsible for the ambush-slay of Bucales and his companions on October 4 in Barangay Banahao of Lianga.

Bucales served only for 9 months as Lianga’s first IPMR but was able to accomplish tangible peace and development programs for the tribe to include the facilitation of then closure of NPA Terrorist linked TRIFPSS and ALCADEV schools, the establishment of DepEd-SLT, electrification of sitios, the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads and various livelihood programs in the conflict-affected communities which are the gateways to the Andap Valley Range.

According to Lianga Mayor, Novelita M. Sarmen, Bucales also proposed development plans in the hinterlands to boost the eco and agri-tourism in the municipality.

Bucales also appeared in various senate and congress hearings concerning NPA
Terrorist killings of IP leaders. Bucales, being a former NPA leader and organizer, revealed the how CNTs exploit Lumads making him a hot target of the CNTs. From 2016-2018, he was ambushed thrice and was finally killed on October 4.

In his documentary, “Last Dance ni Bucales” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-yJTBknRO8), he said that he is no longer afraid of death because that is the cost of standing for truth and fighting against CNTs who continually oppress the IPs. He also said that since he surrendered in 2006, he accepted the fact that he can die anytime in the hands of CNTs because it’s the law of the CPP to kill all those who abandon the terrorist armed revolution.

The Surigao tribes, Local Governments, Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemned the brutal killings of Bucales and other IPs in Surigao.

“The attacks of the NPA are “disproportionate and brutal,” and violate international humanitarian law,” said CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement in Manila Bulletin.

Surigao Del Sur supported the cause of Bucales and the Surigao tribe leaders to declare CPP-NPA as persona-non-grata in the whole province. During Bucales’ burial, Surigao tribes expressed their indignation through a protest.

In December 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the NPA along with the CPP as terrorist organizations. The NPA is also designated as a Foreign Terrorist
Organization by the U.S. State Department and as a terrorist group by the EU, and New Zealand.

Surigao tribal leaders said that Datu Jumar Bucales may be gone but his name will be forever remembered as the one who truly loved and cared for the tribe.

“Nawala man si Datu Jumar, ang ating amahan sa tribo, pero ang ipinaglalaban niya at ang kanyang tapang ay mananatili sa atin.Tuloy ang laban kontra NPA. Hindi papatalo ang tribo at hindi kami matatakot,“ Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga Tribal Chieftain said during the tribute to their leader. Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Representative Cullamat, a native of Lianga still has no word of condemnation for the NPA Terrorists’ slain IPMR.