Lianga, Surigao Del Sur – Tribal leaders of Surigao along with leaders and members and the local government unit of Lianga rendered slain Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Datu Jumar S. Bucales a hero’s burial parade on October 10 in Diatagon, Lianga.
His heroics include his dedication to preserve and develop the culture of the Manobo tribe through the establishment of DepEd Schools of Living Tradition (DepEd-SLT) and his fight against Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP’s) exploitation and corruption of IPs.
Interment Bucales was marked with long funeral parade in Lianga town proper attended by hundreds of tribesmen and women from Surigao and Eastern Mindanao, local government officials, IPMRs, friends, supporters and relatives on the way to his final resting place.
Bayan Muna representative Eufemia Campos Cullamat’s sister in CNT-linked Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) and Northeastern Mindanao NPA Terrorist spokesperson Sandara Sidlakan, had accused Bucales to have participated in the killing of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) Executive Director, Emerito Samarca.
However, the accusation was eventually found baseless.
CPP Information Officer, Marco Valbuena in his statement claimed that the Communist NPA Terrorists were responsible for the ambush-slay of Bucales and his companions on October 4 in Barangay Banahao of Lianga.
Bucales served only for nine (9) months as Lianga’s first IPMR but was able to accomplish tangible peace and development programs for the tribe to include the facilitation of the closure of NPA Terrorist linked TRIFPSS and ALCADEV schools, the establishment of DepEd-SLT, electrification of sitios, the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads and various livelihood programs in the conflict-affected communities which are the gateways to the Andap Valley Range.
According to Lianga Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen, Bucales also proposed development plans in the hinterlands to boost the eco and agri-tourism in the municipality.
Bucales also appeared in various senate and congressional hearings concerning NPA Terrorist killings of IP leaders.
A former NPA leader and organizer himself, Bucales revealed how CNTs exploit lumads that all but made him hot target for the CNTs.
From 2016 to 2018, Bucales was ambushed thrice and survived as many times until the fourth attempt on his life on October 4.
In his documentary titled “Last Dance ni Bucales” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-yJTBknRO8), he said that he is no longer afraid of death because that is the cost of standing for truth and fighting against CNTs who continually oppress the IPs.
He also said that since he surrendered in 2006, he accepted the fact that he can die anytime in the hands of CNTs because it’s the law of the CPP to kill all those who abandon the terrorist armed revolution.
The Surigao tribes, Local Governments, Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemned the brutal killings of Bucales and other IPs in Surigao.
“The attacks of the NPA are “disproportionate and brutal,” and violate international humanitarian law,” said CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement at Manila Bulletin.
Surigao Del Sur supported the cause of Bucales and the Surigao tribe leaders to declare CPP-NPA as persona-non-grata in the whole province.
During Bucales’ burial, Surigao tribes expressed their indignation through a protest.
In December 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the NPA along with the CPP as terrorist organizations.
The NPA is also designated a tag as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department and as a terrorist group by the EU, and New Zealand.
Surigao tribal leaders said that Datu Jumar Bucales may be gone but his name will be forever remembered as the one who truly loved and cared for their tribe.
“Nawala man si Datu Jumar, ang ating amahan sa tribo, pero ang ipinaglalaban niya at ang kanyang tapang ay mananatili sa atin.Tuloy ang laban kontra NPA. Hindi papatalo ang tribo at hindi kami matatakot,“ Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga Tribal Chieftain said during the tribute to their leader.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Representative Cullamat, a native of Lianga still has no word of condemnation for the NPA Terrorists’ slain IPMR.