Small Wars Journal

Instead of Peace, Indigenous Filipinos Get the Duterte Treatment

Instead of Peace, Indigenous Filipinos Get the Duterte Treatment by Vincent Bevins – Washington Post

BUTUAN, Philippines — Junrey Manlicayan, a member of the Banwaon tribe, voted for President Rodrigo Duterte. He believed that Duterte, a fellow native of Mindanao island, understood the plight of indigenous communities like his, and that he could deliver on his promise to negotiate an end to the war with communist insurgents that has dragged on for 49 years.

But after Duterte declared martial law on Mindanao last year and peace talks fell apart, Manlicayan and many other indigenous Filipinos in this region bitterly regret giving him their support in the 2016 election.

“We made a mistake, and now we’re suffering,” he said. “It’s sad to hear the propaganda that the NPA [communist rebels] are violating our rights, because in my experience most of the abuses against us have been committed by the military.” The worst recent incident, according to Manlicayan, was when soldiers invaded his village and framed a neighboring family by planting grenades in their house. The soldiers took them all away…

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