IP group to Pres. Aquino: Stop the Killings of Indigenous Peoples!

43 killings in 45 months, 4 slays of IPs in 2014

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) Press Release

20 March 2014

The year 2014 is marked by the blood of indigenous peoples, says Piya
Macliing Malayao, the Igorot spokesperson of Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong
Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP.) “In the first ten weeks of 2014, the
blood of four indigenous peoples has been spilt in brutal killings
attributed to State forces. We are enraged by the outright attacks of
the Armed Forces to the Filipino people fighting for their just rights
to land, life, and resources,” Malayao said.

The following are the extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples from
January 2014 to March 2014, according to KAMP data:

Datu Rolando Ambongan, 39 years old, was killed on January 31, 2014 in
Buenavista, Agusan del Norte after members of the Cafgu and paramilitary
group Alimaong, strafed his home. The Lumad chieftain died on the spot,
and injured his nephew Janmar Ambongan Sulhayan. Both military
organizations are connected to the 29th Infantry Battalion of the
Philippine Army, who operates in the area. Higaonon, Manobo, and Mamanwa
indigenous communities forcibly evacuated in May and June 2011 and in
September 2013 due to combat operations of the 29th IB in the Lumad
lands. Local human rights groups believe that Ambongan’s refusal to
allow mining in their ancestral land despite bribery and threats to his
life is motive for his killing. Ambongan is a member of Katribu Partylist.

The Ligiw family massacre in Abra which killed Licuben Ligiw, and his
sons, Freddie “Fermin” Ligiw and Edie Ligiw, are the latest killings of
indigenous peoples. The three, all farmers from the Binongan tribe in
Baay-Licuan, Abra, were last seen March 2, and were found buried in a
shallow grave near their hut after a search was conducted on March 7.
The searchers found the victims’ hands bound and their mouths gagged.
Fermin was a member of Sidakan-Anakbayan, and with his brother and
father, members of the Lenneng-Killeng Tingguian Farmers Association
(LEKITIFA), local affiliates of the umbrella organization Cordillera
People’s Alliance. The victims were also active leaders of the people’s
campaign against destructive mining in Baay-Licuan. The 41st IBPA, who
operates in the area, is blamed for the killings of the family.

“The killings of indigenous peoples have been rising steadily in the
past three years under the Aquino administration. These killings stack
up as the government’s Public-Private Partnership program sells off our
resources for investments; running in tandem with counterinsurgency
scheme Oplan Bayanihan. Indigenous peoples find themselves facing the
military’s gun barrels as they assert their rights over their lands and
resources,” Malayao said.

According to KAMP, there had been 43 killings of indigenous peoples
since Aquino became president in June 2010. “Aquino’s human rights
record is set to rival that of Arroyo,” Malayao commented.

“There had been 43 killings of indigenous peoples in the 45 months of
the Aquino administration. These are no mere killings, but are
liquidations designed to quell the resistance of indigenous peoples
against plunder, land grabbing, militarization, and human rights
violations. The 43 slays are of indigenous people’s leaders. These are
indigenous men, women, and their children whose communities are
militarized or are affected by business interests, such as large-scale
mining,” Malayao said.

Malayao believes that the escalation in killings this year is
compensation for the failures of Oplan Bayanihan in the last three
years. “It is now mid-way into the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan,
and the ruthless AFP is making up for their failure to deliver the
targets of the counter-insurgency program. We fear that human rights
violations and killings will escalate as the military will deploy more
troops in our communities and launch even more brutal military
campaigns,” Malayao said.

KAMP launched the Stop the Killings of Indigenous Peoples! Network in
2012, in response to the spate of extrajudicial killings of indigenous
peoples. “We enjoin all human rights defenders in the Philippines and
abroad to demand immediate action from the Aquino government to address
the increasing cases of extrajudicial killings. We demand justice for
these killings. The extrajudicial killings, reared by the impunity
reigning in our country, must come to an end,” Malayao said.

Piya Macliing Malayao, 0917-3631576, Spokesperson
Lea Fullon,09982972500, Media Liaison

Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP)
National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines
Room 304 NCCP Building, 876 Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue, West
Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines
(02)412-5340 | kamp_phils@yahoo.com | katutubongmamamayan.org