12042046_10153747262072323_817948628_nBy Eric Borromeo
September 22, 2015

In spite of their high-profile showbiz status, this real celebrity sweethearts took a stand on defending the Lumads and committed to defend their causes.

Celebrities are really influential people. They can sway their fans to patronize the products they endorse, to ‘believe’ in the roles they are portraying, and even to follow in their footsteps – be it good or bad.

Two of the most popular stars in our country today are now playing roles that seem so far-fetched from the status we have known them to possess.

Real sweethearts Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano posted recently their picture together holding a T-shirt with the hashstag #StopLumadKillings. This can only show that amidst the glitz and glamour of their industry, they are also aware of the atrocity that befell the Lumads of Davao del Norte and Bukidnon.

The picture says it all: Angel and Luis are taking their stand for this human rights violation to stop, which was allegedly perpetuated by the government forces and anti-communist paramilitary.

Angel & Luis Lumads (1)
Angel and Luis had a dinner meeting with Lumad leaders.
Angel & Luis Lumads (2)
They are seeking help for their schools and communities
Angel & Luis Lumads (3)
Also present on that meeting was party list Representative Neri Colmenares.
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Angel took on Instagram by posting pictures of her with the Lumads

The famous couple are now flexing their ‘celebrity muscles’ to spread a socio-political issue awareness among their fans and followers. Last September 20, Angel and Luis had a dinner meeting with Lumad leaders and some relatives of the victims who are now here in Metro Manila. They are seeking help for their schools and communities. Also present on that meeting was party list Representative Neri Colmenares who is bent to assist the natives of their legal battle.

According to reports, the killing of three Lumad leaders, the burning down of a cooperative store, and indiscriminate firing caused a massive evacuation of the Lumads from their homeland. Most are now staying in an evacuation center in Davao City.

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She shared a brief description of her experience during that exposure trip in ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development).
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the Manobo leader, Dionel Campos, and volunteer teacher, Emerito Samarca was with her.

A week ago, Angel took on Instagram by posting pictures of her with the Lumads in 2009. She shared a brief description of her experience during that exposure trip in ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development), specifically, her meeting with the Manobo leader, Dionel Campos, and volunteer teacher, Emerito Samarca, two of the indigenous people who were killed allegedly by a paramilitary group linked to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Nakakalungkot na isipin na ganito ang sinapit nila, na ang kagustuhan lang naman nila ay magandang edukasyon para sa mga anak nila at sa susunod na henerasyon at maayos na pamumuhay,” Angel said on her post, also urging her followers to share the story of the Lumads.

She also calls for justice for all the victims. “Panawagan ko rin ang katarungan para sa mga pinaslang,” she said. As of the moment, more than 3,000 displaced Lumads are staying at a sports complex in Tandag, Davao City. School operations were disrupted but ALCADEV volunteer teachers continue to teach the students even in the evacuation center.

The actress commits to help spread awareness of the plight of the Lumad people and to campaign support for their schools. She stands that schools should be treated as sanctuaries for learning and should be free from any distress and fear caused by the presence of paramilitary and military troops.

Angel, whose real name is Angelica Colmenares, is related to Rep. Neri Colmenares, who is an active human rights defender. Incidentally, Rep. Colmenares will run for the senate in next year’s election. Luis Manzano, as everybody knows, is the son of Batangas governor Vilma Santos and actor, Edu Manzano, and is also rumored to seek a government position in the coming election.

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