In general, it can be said that the Lumad – as a collective people’s identity – is an indigenous “non-Islamized” people in Southern Philippines. The place they have occupied and lived in for centuries, has the distinction of being a rather spacious land area and definitely quite rich for its abundant timber and specially so for its mining resources. And these wealth of nature is precisely the cause of their many and serious problems – instead of being the source of their blessing, the origin of their common welfare.
Reason: Non-Lumad – not only their fellow Filipinos with neither any sense of ethics nor the use of right reason but specially greedy and amoral foreigners are after their said abundant natural resources. So what if they destroy the environ, so what if they leave behind a desolate people plus a poisoned earth? So what if they harass, they kidnap and/or even kill the simple natives who simply want to keep what is really theirs, to protect what in fact belongs to them.
So it was and so it still is that the Rightists and the Leftists plus the Traitors to their own people came and are still coming. To say that they look at the Lumad as their common enemy and that they are ready to do anything and everything to rob them of their rightful resources, to drive them away in order to occupy their land, to put them to death even – this is an understatement. And such are precisely the composite of the big misfortune of the Lumad long since, but specially so in these days and time. They only want to keep what is rightfully theirs. They simply want to be left in peace so that they can live their simple lives, have their simple needs.
Such was the over-all background when Sultan Quiram himself wanted to see and talk with the Malacañang occupant. He pleaded for the meeting. He begged for the talk. He became sick. He died. And the supposed highest public official in the land mandated to look after the public welfare of the people all over the Country, said nothing, did nothing. To this date, Sultan Julius is not known even but to have attempted to see and talk with the same supreme power figure in the Philippines, a portion of which has been home to the Lumad long, long before he was even born.
These are really sad and pitiful times for the Lumad: Some of their villages are in fact considered “occupied” by these or those militant groups. They have some small and poor schools that are “shut down”. More. Their human rights are nonchalantly violated. Families are flagrantly driven away from their homes. Children are denied their education. Their present is a challenge. Their future is one big question.
By the way: What has BBL got to do with all these atrocities against and consequent resentments of the Lumad? Is BBL not supposed to establish unity and peace in Mindanao? What has the USA got to do with the BBL? What countries are actually funding BBL since its conception – and why? How do the MNLF and the BIFF and the ASG and the ISIS look at the BBL? Where is LUMAD in the BBL?