Volunteer Lumad teacher nabbed by police in Surigao Sur 

Image from Karapatan Caraga Facebook page

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 18 July) — A volunteer Lumad teacher in a school in Tandag City was arrested Sunday by operatives from the Caraga regional police office.
 
Human rights group Karapatan Caraga said they still had no information on the whereabouts of Gary Campos, an education graduate from St. Theresa College in Tandag City.

The group said Campos was on his way to a review center to prepare for the upcoming licensure examination for teachers when he was arrested.
 
It was unclear what cases were filed against Campos, although Karapatan said these are just trumped-up charges.
 
MindaNews called the Tandag City Police Office but was told they were unaware of his arrest.
 
In a press statement, Karapatan said Campos managed to contact his friends around 8 p.m. Sunday and told them he was calling from the police station in Butuan City, the seat of Caraga Region.

He was reportedly presented with an arrest warrant but did not say what the charges were.

Campos, a Manobo, graduated from the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), a school run by the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS).

To serve back to his community he volunteered as a teacher for TRIFPSS upon graduation.

He finished his education degree with the help of a scholarship program of the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate of the Diocese of Tandag.

He currently volunteers as a teacher at a public school in Tandag City.

Campos is a member of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), a Lumad organization at the forefront of defending the Andap Valley Complex against foreign, large-scale coal mining.

Mapasu and Alcadev have been tagged by the military as communist fronts.

On Sept. 1, 2015, members of the paramilitary group Magahat-Bagani allegedly killed three Lumad leaders in Sitio Han-ayan, Diatagon: Emerito Samarca, Alcadev executive director; Dionel Campos, chair of Mapasu; and Mapasu member Datu Juvello Sinzo.

Human rights groups blamed their deaths on the red-tagging by the military.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro condemned the arrest.

She said Campos was being accused of trumped-up charges and called for his immediate release.

“Teacher Gary is a teacher-leader who stood up for the rights of the Lumads, their rights to education and their rights to their ancestral lands,” the lawmaker said. (Chris V. Panganiban/MindaNews)