DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 March) – Lumads or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the proposed Bangsamoro are holding simultaneous rituals in every fenuwo (village) at 12 noon Saturday “to ask the Divine Creator to unite all Filipino citizens for the sake of peace in South-Central Mindanao and the entire country; to allow the peace talks to continue between the GPH (Philippine government) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front); and the passage of an inclusive and just Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).”
An estimated 1,000 IPs from 500 villages of the Téduray, Lambangian and Erumanén ne Menuvu tribes in Cotabato City, Maguindanao Province, Sultan
Kudarat province and North Cotabato Province are expected to participate.
In a statement, the Lumads said they are conducting the rituals bcause “with what is currently happening with the Bangsamoro, the Indigenous Peoples of South-Central Mindanao are once again threatened with the conflict expanding into their villages if no action is done,” the Indigenous Peoples of South-Central Mindanao comprising the Téduray and Lambangian of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat; and the Erumanen ne Menuvu of North Cotabato, said in a statement.
The Indigenous Ritual for Peace, dubbed in Teduray as “TulakFantagKetanek” will be done at exactly 12 high noon as, “like the situation being faced by South-Central Mindanao, it will be very hot.”
Froilyn Mendoza, a Teduray member of the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission that drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law, said rituals at high noon are “very rare, performed by the Fantas Bliyans or group of spiritual leaders only in times of uncertainty.”
The statement said the Lumads believe that in times of crisis, the Divine Creator must be called upon; “for He is the Creator of all beings – living or non-living. Inflicting pain on fellow creatures and all of creation is not the answer to the ongoing crisis of our beloved Mindanao and the Bangsamoro.”
The statement listed the areas “within the Ancestral Territory of the Téduray and the Lambangian,” where the Prayer Rituals would be done: in Upi, Maguindanao’s Tuladan at SitioKiféngféng, Darugao; Kansad Gadung in Sitio Lahangkéb, Rempes, where a tenines was built beside the Upi gymnasium; Sitio Rakéf, Blensong, Upi; Fénuwo Burut; Fénuwo Gédan; Fénuwo Bénahaw; Fénuwo Babat; Pedro Colina (PC) Hill in Cotabato City; Sitio Balalaén, Mompong, Datu Odin Sinsuat; Sitio Brow, Matuber, Datu Blah Sinsuat; Sedém, Datu Blah Sinsuat; Lamud, South Upi; SitioRefra, Looy, South Upi; Sitio Bénuan, Sitio kulayan in Romonggaob, Kuya, South Upi; Firis (Batéw) which encompasses Talayan, Guindulungan, Datu Saudi, Datu Unsay, Datu Hofer and South Upi – all of which are in Maguindanao. In Sultan Kudarat province it will be in Sitio Pangawan, Bolibak, Lebak.
The Erumanén ne Ménuvu will perform the ritual in their ancestral domains in the towns of Carmen, Pikit, Aleosan, Midsayap, Libungan and Pigcawayan in North Cotabato.
“This Prayer Ritual is a small contribution of the Indigenous Peoples in the constant journey towards the just peace that is longed for by each inhabitant in the Bangsamoro, in Mindanao, and in the entire Philippines,” the statement read. (MindaNews)