The heroism of Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, Lumbaya Gayudan and other martyrs of the prominent Anti-Chico Dams Struggle from the Butbut tribe in Kalinga is bound to be dishonored by the police.
We have learned that the Provincial Advisory Council of the Kalinga Provincial Police Office requested the provincial government through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Oversight to “enact a resolution to remove the monuments of Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan built by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance on the road right of way of the national road in Bugnay, Tinglayan.” The Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office (UKDEO) said the construction of the monument is illegal as it is situated 4.10 meters from the centerline of the road and that the monument encroached on the national road.
The monument was built in 2017 in honor of the heroes and martyrs of the Anti-Chico Dams Struggle. It bears the faces of Ama Macliing, Dungoc and Lumbaya and a list of names of other heroes and martyrs from the Butbut tribe. It was inaugurated as part of the people’s Cordillera Day celebration on April 23, 2017.
The construction of a monument to honor Dulag and other heroes and martyrs of the Anti-Chico Dams Struggle was first requested by Francis Macliing, one of the sons of Macliing Dulag, to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance in the year 2000. However, this was delayed due to tribal conflicts between the Butbut and Betwagan tribes and the lack of necessary resources to put up the monument until it was made possible in 2017.
The planning, actual construction and inauguration of the monument in 2017 were jointly conducted by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, representatives of the families of Ama Macliing, Dungoc and Lumbaya, and umili from Bugnay, with the support of known artists and architect. Prior to these, community consultations were held in Bugnay and the local government units were informed. The clan of Macliing Dulag also offered the parcel of land where the monument was constructed, which is their property.
The police’s request for the removal of the monument and a certain resolution of the “Butbut tribe” condemning the unauthorized use by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance of the names of local heroes such as Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan came after General R’win Pagkalinawan, the Director of the Police Regional Office – Cordillera, personally visited and talked to people in Bugnay.
There is no reason for the police or the government to demolish the heroes’ monument other than to distort, revise and eradicate the historical truths of oppression and resistance behind the monument.
It has been more than 3 years since the monument was put up. If there was a problem with the site of the monument, why didn’t the Kalinga police or UKDEO stop us during the construction? If it is to be demolished for encroaching on the national road, then it will make the numerous residential houses that are lined up along the Bontoc-Kalinga road from Tinglayan to Tabuk in danger of demolition as well. It is the police that wants the monument demolished and not the umili.
The construction of such a monument in honor of Macliing and other Cordillera heroes should have long been done by the government if they truly revered these heroes. Instead, the government did nothing to give justice for Macliing Dulag after he was killed by elements of the Philippine military on April 24, 1980, and the abuses committed by the military and police have continued. And now they want the monument which was put up by the people demolished. What kind of government and police do we have?
The plan to demolish the heroes’ monument in Bugnay is clearly a part of the government’s fascist attacks against the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and the true legacies of the people’s struggle against development aggression and State fascism which these people’s heroes and martyrs have fought against. It is a part of the implementation of Executive Order 70 or the “Whole of Nation” approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
We call on the Cordillera people not to allow these senseless and vicious attacks against the Cordillera people’s true history and current resistance.
We call on the advocates of the Anti-Chico Dams Struggle to speak out against historical revisionism, disinformation and degrading the legacy of the anti-Chico dams heroes.
We call on the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Kalinga not to issue a resolution that would demolish the heroes’ monument in Bugnay.***