Lumad, peasant leaders ‘missing’

Datu Jomorito Goaynon (left) and Ireneo Udarbe (right). Photo courtesy of KMP-Northern Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 29 January) – A Lumad leader and a peasant leader have been reported missing since Monday morning, the human rights group Karapatan said in a statement Tuesday.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said Datu Jomorito Goaynon and Ireneo Udarbe were on their way to a meeting with Pig-uyonan, a member of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization which had scheduled a dialogue on Monday with the 65th Infantry Battalion facilitated by the Commission on Human Rights.

Goaynon is the chair of Kalumbay while Udarbe is the chair of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Northern Mindanao.

In a post on social media, KMP-Northern Mindanao said the two left their office in Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City at past 10am Monday.

“Their last communication to a staff of Kalumbay had been to inform him that they were stuck in traffic on the way to their meeting place from their office. It was around 11 in the morning. The two never got to their meeting place. None of their relatives or friends have seen or heard from them afterwards. Twice, calls to Datu Jomo were picked up but no one answered. His phone, as of this writing, can no longer be reached. Udarbe’s phone still rings but no one is picking it up,” KMP said.

“Goaynon and Udarbe’s last communication was sent while they were commuting from Bulua to Carmen,” it said.

The group said that on January 22, the two filed a complaint against the 65th IB for alleged harassment and forced surrender.

“A tarpaulin bearing a picture of Datu Jomorito accusing him of recruiting the Lumad to the New People’s Army has also been hung in Talakag,” it added. (MindaNews)