A netizen wanted to help relaying the message of a Manobo datu to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who recently revealed that he is a Manobo and thus allowed to engage in polygamy.
Facebook user Bernard Ong addressed Alvarez in a post entitled, “Message to the Imbecile,” and summarized in four points what he needed to tell the speaker after a Manobo datu spoke up about duway or polygamy.
Ong said that the datu wanted to say these four things to Alvarez:
“1. Your excuse of being Manobo to engage in polygamy (and leave your legal wife without formal separation) is bullshit
- Lumads no longer practice Duway (polygamy by Datu) because education made them realize it is serious viiolation of women’s rights.
- Your plan to legalize polygamy and marital separation for Lumads is for your personal situation only
- If you are truly a Lumad, you should file bills stopping attacks on Lumad communities & protecting ancestral lands from plunder by mining companies”
Ong wrote the post and attached an Interaksyon article, “Datu to ‘fellow lumad’ Alvarez: Forget ‘duway,’ pass laws protecting tribes instead.”
In the report, Matigsalug-Manobo Datu Isidro Indao said he doubted Alvarez’ recent revelation as a lumad and even if this was true, the Manobos no longer practice duway anyway after realizing that it is a “serious violation of women’s rights.” Indao added that taking up to 5 wives is a practice only reserved for a datu.
Indao is in Metro Manila along with some 300 lumads who are urging the administration to stop the attacks against lumad schools. President Rodrigo Duterte recently made threats to attack the schools for teaching the children to hate the government.
The Manobo datu said that the Speaker may only be trying to legalize duway for personal motives. He added that if Alvarez were truly a Manobo, he should focus more on passing laws that will stop the attacks on the lumads, their communities, and schools and protect their lands from being abused by foreign mining companies.
While pushing his bill for the dissolution of marriage, Alvarez denied he is doing so for his personal interest. That was when he claimed to be a member of the Manobo tribe.
“Ako po ay miyembro ng isang tribe sa Mindanao kung saan po puwede po sa amin iyong multiple marriages. At iyung nag-go-govern po na batas sa amin ay iyung kultura po ng tribo,” Alvarez said.
A few days ago, his wife, Emelita Alvarez, broke her silence when she granted an interview to ABS-CBN. She said that the Speaker abandoned her after Duterte’s first SONA in 2016.
Ong’s reference to Alvarez as an ‘imbecile’ came from what the controversial Facebook post of Atty. Mandy Anderson, the chief of staff of Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon.
As of writing, Ong’s post has already been shared over a thousand times and reacted to over 2,000 times.