Karapatan joins Manilakbayan at Camp Aguinaldo to protest Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan

Press Statement

November 26, 2014

“The people in the pictures and the more than 300 Minadanaoans who are here in Metro Manila are proof that there is no peace in Mindanao,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said holding the photo of Juvy Capion, a pregnant mother killed together with her two sons, Jordan and Janjan. Juvy is the wife of a Blaan leader, Daguil Capion who lead a pangayaw against the entry of Glencore-Xstrata-SMI in Kimlawis, Davao del Sur. Glencore-Xstrata-SMI, the biggest copper-gold mining project in the Philippines is known to give blood money to the 27th Infantry Battalion and Task Force KITACO.

“Military operations are among the reasons why peasants and indigenous people from Mindanao traversed the long roads from Mindanao to Metro Manila. They call for justice for all their comrades, colleagues, friends and relatives, tribesmen who became victims of Oplan Bayanihan,” Palabay said. “The AFP and its paramilitary units are involved in the killing of 83 individuals in Mindanao ,” Palabay said.

“It is not a coincidence that more than half of the AFP’s troops are in Mindanao . Big business and multinational mining corporations operate in Mindanao . Some of these are Glencore, Saguittarius Mines Inc., Toronto Ventures, Inc (TVI) in South Cotabato, St. Augustine Gold and Copper Ltd. in Compostela Valley , and IndoPhil in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. It is in these areas that violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws are happening,” Palabay said.

“The BS Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan tries to wipe out the peasants, the indigenous peoples tribes, and members of progressive organizations because they protect the remaining resource-rich areas of the country. These are also the same areas considered by the AFP as NPA strongholds,” Palabay said. “In the course of military operations, the soldiers encamp in Lumad schools. They go into killings spree, abductions, and bombings that result in evacuation and displacement of people. This is Oplan Bayanihan and there is nothing peaceful in it,” Palabay said.

Palabay mentioned the names of Eliezer “Boy” Billanes, Kitari Capion, Datu Anting Freay and son Victor, Pedro Tinga, Santos Manrique, Fred Trangia, Margarito Cabal, Cristina Jose, Rudy Dejos and son Rudyric, Marcel Lambon, Fr. Pops Tentorio as the protesters remembered the victims of BS Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

It has been 15 days since the Manilakbayan contingent left Mindanao . They set foot in Metro Manila on November 21. “Malacañang, as usual, has not uttered a word about their presence,” commented Palabay.

Today, November 26, is the third day since the tribe leaders of Manilakbayan performed the ritual of kodaw, a strand of rattan with five knots. The knot symbolizes the five days they gave BS Aquino to answer their demand for”food and peace in Mindanao .” ###

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

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Diliman, Quezon City , PHILIPPINES 1101

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Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.