Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, did a lot of injustice to the indigenous peoples/Lumad and Moro of Mindanao.
- Encroachment into the lands of the Lumad and Moro. Marcos facilitated the entry of big businesses in mining, logging and plantations—often in cooperation with foreign interests—into the lands of Lumad and Moro. In 1979 logging concessions in Mindanao covered five million hectares, nearly half the land area of Mindanao, and were mainly in the domains of the Lumad and Moro.
- War and Militarization. To allegedly go after lawless groups, many areas were militarized for a long time and wars frequently broke out in Mindanao. Because these conflicts often occurred in the countryside and mountainous areas, many Lumad and Moro communities were repeatedly displaced, and many were harmed and even killed. In truth the wars favored the big businesses who then set up mining and logging operations, and agricultural plantations in the areas forcibly abandoned by the Lumad and Moro, and Marcos himself who was able to hold on to power for a long time.
- Manipulation of leaders. Marcos sought to influence, coopt and manipulate many leaders of the Lumad and Moro. Among these the creation of the Presidential Assistant on Natural Minorities (PANAMIN) which was instrumental in declaring government-recognized and sanctioned leaders, and the use of the generic term “Datu” that replaced the traditional honorific titles of the Lumad. Leaders that could not be coopted were often harassed and even killed.
- Commodification of culture. Through PANAMIN, other agencies and schemes, the cultures of the Lumad and Moro were commoditized. Traditional dresses, dances, songs, rituals and artifacts were displayed for tourism without acknowledgement of and respect for the beliefs, customs and lifeways from which they originate.
On the 31st celebration of Kadayawan, one way to honor the 11 tribes of Davao is to ensure that the dictator who facilitated encroachments into their ancestral domains, terrorized their communities, coopted their leaders, and commoditized their cultures is not honored as a hero!
In the words of Dabawenyos:
- Diktador at magnanakaw, hindi bayani! Huwag tularan; huwag parangalan! Ilibing si Marcos sa Batac!
- Diktador ug kawatan, dili bayani! Ayaw sunda; ayaw pasidunggi! Ilubong si Marcos sa Batac! (Cebuano)
- Nameges endu tanegkawn, dikena bayanan! Ndu dili dayt a ilingan; dili enggan sa gelal! E lebeng si Marcos sa Batac! (Iranun)
- Su tamegesen na tegkaw, di kena bayani! Dili det a pag ilingan; dili det a pag enggan sa bantugan! El’beng si Marcos sa Batac! (Maguindanaon)
- Diktador ago tekhaw, kena oba bayani! Di patot a perawaten; di patot a pembantogen! Sii sa Batac ilebeng si Marcos! (Meranaw)
- Ma-missukoh, sugarul bukun mananabang! Subay dih singuran; subay dih pudjihun! Tup hikubul hi Marcos ha Batac! (Tausug)
A meaningful Kadayawan to everyone!
KONSYENSYA DABAW (Hugpong Dabawenyo para LNMBatac)