Seen as 'obstruction', DPWH orders removal of Chico Dam heroes' monument in Kalinga

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2020 09:41 PM | Updated as of Oct 21 2020 09:57 PM

The DPWH Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office has ordered the removal of the monument built in honor of Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, Lumabaya Gayudan and the others who fought against the Chico Dam project in Tinglayan, Kalinga during the Marcos dictatorship. Photo courtesy of Olga Lauzon

Bantayog ng mga Bayani opposes demolition of monument of 3 Kalinga heroes

MANILA - A local office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has ordered the removal of the monument in honor of Macliing Dulag and two others in Tinglayan town in Kalinga, considering it as an "obstruction" in the national road. 

In a copy of the demolition order obtained by ABS-CBN News from the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), the DPWH Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office said the monument of Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, Lumabaya Gayudan and the other heroes who fought against the Chico Dam project during the Marcos dictatorship has "encroached" a portion of the Mt. Province Boundary-Calanan-Pinukpuk-Abbut Road, Bugnay Section in Tinglayan.

The CPA was given 7 days from receipt of the notice to remove the structure. Should they fail to do so, the DPWH will remove the "obstruction" and charge CPA for the the costs incurred.

The order was dated Oct. 1, and the CPA received it Oct. 8.

In a post on its Facebook page, the CPA asked for public support to prevent the demolition of the monument.

 

The Bantayog ng mga Bayani has also expressed opposition to the removal of the monument.

"Bantayog opposes the plan to demolish this monument, which is not only a unique and distinctive work of art; it bears a deeply historical and cultural value," it said in a statement.

Erected in 2017, the monument depicts Dulag, Dungoc and Gayudan, who were elders of the Butbut ethnic group in Kalinga. They led the people's fight against the Chico Dam project in the 1970s to protect their history and culture, as well as to prevent the displacement of thousands of residents along the Chico River.

"The three are also included in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani's roster of martyrs and heroes under the Marcos dictatorship. it is hard to find a more moving example of a David-and-Goliath tale as the story of home these mountain people defended their land and culture from the powers-that-be," the Bantayog said.

"We urge the government to cancel the demolition notice, and instead help protect this meaningful marker and assist the villagers in a dialogue to rekindle the unity their elders had given their lives for," it added.

CPA has also launched a petition on Change.org for the preservation of the monument.

"Demolishing the monument is double injustice to the Anti-Chico Dams heroes. Macliing Dulag was shot dead by members of the Philippine Army led by Lieutenant Leodegardo Adalem on April 24, 1980. Until now, justice has not been served. Now his monument along with other heroes and martyrs is also bound to be destroyed," CPA said in their petition.

"To demolish and desecrate the monument is a brazen act of obliterating the Cordillera people’s history of struggle against oppression and injustice. It is part of the government’s acts of historical revisionism or distorting and erasing the true history of the people’s resistance and heroism which remain relevant until today," the alliance added.

In 1974, the Marcos administration launched a 1,000-megawatt hydroelectric power project along the Chico River. Four dams were supposed to be built in the area, which would severely affect the residents, including those in Dulag's Bugnay village.

Together with Lumbaya and Dungoc, Dulag launched a campaign to prevent the government from conducting surveys in their area.

- with Annalyn Rebecca Eisma, ABS-CBN News