Tumandok nga Mangunguma nga Nagapangapin sa Duta kag Kabuhi (TUMANDUK) is the organization that leads the indigenous Tumandok people’s struggles to defend their lands, lives and livelihood.
Also known as the Suludnon, the Panay-Bukidnon or Pan-ayanon, the Tumandok people are the indigenous Filipino people who reside in the Capiz-Lambunao mountainous area and the Antique-Iloilo mountain area of Panay in the Philippine Visayan islands.
TUMANDUK leads its members in the fight for their ancestral rights and the struggle for their right to self-determination. This has led them to oppose many so-called development projects that not only threaten to encroach on their ancestral lands, but pose a danger to the fragile ecosystems of their ancestral lands, which sprawl over two protected areas, the Jalaur River Watershed Forest Reserve and the Pan-ay River WFR.
TUMANDUK has led the Tumandok people’s resistance campaign against the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project. They oppose this project not only because it will inundate their ancestral lands and force them to lose the basis of their very culture, but also because, like other big dams, the project will destroy local habitats, deprive ecosystems of nutrients, release greenhouse gasses, increase wastewater and may even trigger seismicity. Scientists and even global funders like the World Bank have already noted such long-term and far-reaching negative environmental impacts of large dams.
Because of their opposition to the Jalaur mega dam, nine Tumandoks were murdered, and 16 others were arrested in December 2020, and their communities remain militarized until today – just as they were in the Martial Law years when their villages were burned to the ground and their leaders beheaded.
Despite this long history of being a target of state violence, TUMANDUK has not stopped fighting for its cause. Their martyrs are their source of strength, and as long as they have their lands to protect, their struggles will continue until death.