Cordillera Peoples Alliance Statement on the International Day of
World’s Indigenous Peoples
[CHRP-UK] Philippine statements on International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples
Aug 14 at 12:48 PM
No Recourse but Struggle for Self-Determination
Statement of Cordillera Peoples Alliance on the International Day of
World’s Indigenous Peoples
9 August 2015
What is the most precious thing to man? Life! If life is threatened,
what ought a man do? Fight! This he must do, otherwise he is
dishonoured. That will be worse than death. If we do not fight and the
dams push through, we die anyway. If we fight, we die honourably. Thus I
exhort you all, kayaw (struggle)! –Macliing Dulag, Kalinga Chieftain
34 years ago since the successful opposition of the Bontoc and Kalinga
peoples to the World Bank-funded Chico Dams, this challenge penned in
the words of Macliing Dulag, one of the many elders who led our people
in asserting right to land and life, remains true, current, and
inspirational as we join fellow indigenous peoples in celebration of the
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on August 9. Indeed,
the story of the Chico struggle is a timeless example of
self-determining indigenous communities.
We celebrate landmark victories at the international level, such as the
declaration of August 9 itself as international IP Day by the UN General
Assembly, the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues, the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples (UNDRIP), the establishment of UN mechanisms for the recognition
of IP rights such as the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the
appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Rights.
More importantly, we salute the communities on the ground that gave
breathe to movements for the recognition of indigenous peoples rights
and self-determination. On this note CPA conveys its utmost solidarity
and salutes all indigenous communities in other parts of the world and
in our home country struggling for ancestral land rights, life and
dignity against the backdrop of development aggression, State terrorism
and neoliberal globalisation.
From Tinoc, Ifugao, to Pasil and Tanudan in Kalinga to Mankayan and
Kapangan in Benguet, to Lacub in Abra; to Mountain Province and Apayao,
communities are asserting right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent
(FPIC) in the face of the collusion of the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) with some local government units and
officials, energy and mining giants such as Hedcor, SN Aboitiz,
Quadriver, Sta. Clara, Chevron and Far South Gold Fields, Golden Lake
Mineral Resources and more. These self-determining practices of
communities and their organisations exemplify good practices that other
communities with similar issues can draw lessons from.
We continue to rally our kakailian in defense of life and genuine peace,
in the face of Oplan Bayanihan unleashing terror in our communities,
resulting to at least 50 cases of extrajudicial killings of indigenous
peoples since 2011, 16 incidents of forced evacuation of indigenous
peoples involving approximately 9,754 individuals, including peasant
settlers. Occurring in indigenous communities in 7 provinces in
Mindanao, these evacuations were triggered by massive and prolonged
military operations, suspected to be clearing operations to pave the way
for the entry of mining and logging companies.
Oplan Bayanihan in the Cordillera is the story of the Ligiw Massacre in
Abra, the extrajudicial killing of William Bugatti in Ifugao, the
continuing political vilification against activists and human rights
defenders, and the grave violations to International Humanitarian Law as
in the incident in Lacub, Abra. These are crimes not only against
indigenous peoples, but against humanity. How indigenous communities
confronted these events and how they moved on with determination is
worth emulating, and another good practice of self-determination.
As we celebrate IP Day, we reflect on the challenges and victories
indigenous communities have confronted in the Cordillera peoples’
struggle for self-determination. Let us remember our heroes and martyrs
and draw inspiration from their lives of sacrifice, in defense of our
cultural heritage, ancestral lands and human rights. Let us continue to
take pride in our culture and identity while building solidarity and
unity with other sectors and advocates in advancing our common goal for
genuine peace and development.
For until our right to self-determination is recognised, and genuine
regional autonomy in place under a truly sovereign Philippines the only
recourse for indigenous peoples is to press onward with the struggle.
Sulong, mga katribu!***
End the Culture of Impunity and Profit-Driven Extermination of
11 August 2015
In commemoration of the International Day for the World’s Indigenous
Peoples, KATRIBU and its allied organisations continued to demand for
justice and genuine recognition of the indigenous peoples rights to
ancestral land and determination in the Philippines.
August 9 may have been declared as the International Day for the World’s
Indigenous Peoples, but the indigenous peoples organisations and
communities under the Karibu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng
Pilipinas(KATRIBU) can find no reason to celebrate due to rampant human
rights violations committed under the current Aquino administration.
Today is also the 100th day of the disappearance of John Calaba, an
indigenous Dulangan Manobo, the Public Information Officer of KEDUMA
(Kesasabanay sa Dulangan Manobo/ a local indigenous peoples
organisation) and a know anti-logging activist from the province of
John was last seen on April 30 with Consunji company guards and members
of the paramilitary group Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA), who
were manning the outposts of the David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI). A
withness reported that gunshots were heard coming from the outpost after
Calaba was seen there. When villagers tried to go to the outpost, the
guards told them to go home, claiming that there were “enemies” and they
might get caught in the crossfire. Subsequent efforts to get more
information on the incident and to locate John Calaba were derailed by
the SCAA and the 38th infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
DMCI has driven away the Dulangan Manobo from their ancestral lands by
bulldozing their farms of native and various crops and replacing them
with commercial trees for logging, and coffee and palm oil plantations.
Their communities are being prevented from tilling their own lands
through harassment by company guards and by compelling them to pay for
the company’s “safe conduct pass.” DMCI is a land-grabber, human rights
violator , and a destroyer of our environment and cultural heritage.
DMCI is a company hell-bent on profiteering from ancestral territories.
John’s disappearance and the DMCI’s record of violations are not
isolated cases. Under the Aquino administration, KATRIBU has monitored
different cases of grave human rights violations against indigenous
peoples. These include 61 victims of extra-judicial killings; 52
incidents of forced evacuations due to both military and paramilitary
operations displacing 20,000 people; and trumped up charges against 176
leaders and members of IPs organisations. IPs are being forced to join
paramilitary groups against their own tribes alongside the
militarisation of their homes and schools.
These are legitimate tactics, according to the fearsome anti-insurgency
program, Oplan Bayanihan. This supposed anti-insurgency program goes
hand-in-hand with Aquino’s efforts to open up our lands to corporate
giants from all over the world, at the expense of the environment,
rampant encroachment of our ancestral territories and violation of
people’s rights. Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programs with
multinational and transnational companies have accelerated the plunder
of our lands and natural resources.
Oplan Bayanihan is an extermination program, robbing the live and
culture of indigenous peoples all over the country. If further
reinforces the culture of impunity, or how both foreign corporations and
governmental agencies can exercise their power to violate the rights and
dignity of ordinary people, without the fear of being punished.
In the last 5 years, the Aquino government has already shown that it
will not hold DMCI and all other destructive corporations and the
military accountable for the atrocities they have committed. KATRIBU,
with its community organisations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, lights
up candles on this day to symbolise our continued demand for justice for
our communities and land, and our persevered commitment to fight all
anti-people policies and to make sure that the perpetrators of rights
violations are prosecuted. We call on the Filipino people to unite and
stand against foreign plunder and attacks on IPs communities.
Surface John Calaba!
Dismantle all paramilitary groups and investment defence force!
Revoke EO 547 which legitimises the existence of para-military groups!
End Oplan Bayanihan! End the Culture of Impunity!
Indigenous Peoples Day: Defy Mining Plunder, Militarization and Damnation!
KATRIBU press release
11 August 2015
Quezon City – In commemoration of the International Day of the World’s
Indigenous Peoples, and with thousands of signatures on hand, members of
the Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas and Scrap the
Mining Act Network trooped to the House of Representatives to call for
the immediate scrapping of the Mining Act of 1995.
“20 years of foreign plunder, human rights violations and ancestral
land-grabbing is enough. There is no more time for further delay, the
congress must swiftly repeal the destructive Mining Act of 1995 and
enact the Peoples Mining Bill.
While the indigenous peoples are being displaced and killed, and our
mineral resources depleted, cohorts of BS-Aquino and the mining
corporations in the congress has been delaying for 5 years now the
enactment of alternative bills to the condemned RA 7942 Mining Act,”
said Piya Malayao, a Bontok-Igorot and Secretary General of KATRIBU.
Mine? Or Theirs?
The Mining Act of 1995 gives foreign companies the right to bring home
100% of their profits from their mining activities. The law also gives
them freedom from requisition of investment and expropriation. Foreign
mining companies are also exempted from taxation for 10 years and are
given leeway in obtaining easement, water and timber rights.
All of the provisions pave way to displacement of IP communities all
over the countries. Out of the 712 approved mining applications, 251 are
inside the mineral-rich ancestral domains of different indigenous
communities. President Aquino has fully made use of the law and
reinforced it with his mining Executive Order 79. As of 2013, Aquino has
already approved or renewed a total of 218 mining applications.
“President Aquino has exacerbated the IP dilemma through various
Public-Private Partnership programs under his administration. Aquino has
also allowed 410 hydropower dams, 27 geothermal and 33 coal power
projects that will affect thousands of IP communities. But the said
projects will only strengthen the monopoly of Aboitiz, Lopez, Ayala and
Cojuangco families and foreign business partners in the power industry,”
Killing in the name of profit KATRIBU has also criticized the
administration for being the main sponsor of violence against the
Under the Aquino administration, KATRIBU monitored 61 cases of
extra-judicial killings, 9 incidents of bombing of communities and
farmlands, 52 cases of forced evacuations which have displaced more than
20,000 indigenous peoples, and trumped-up charges against 176 leaders
and members of IP organizations. There were also 82 cases of attacks on
57 community schools for lumad children, which were in the form of
encampment, destruction and divestment of properties, vilification and
harassments and intimidation of students, teachers and staff.
KATRIBU also mentioned the recent disappearance of John Calaba, a
Dulangan Manobo and an anti-logging activist from Sultan Kudarat. Calaba
disappeared on April 30, 2015 when he visited the outpost of
AFP-trained security forces of David M. Consunji Inc. (DMCI). KATRIBU
sees this as an evidence of the collusion between private security
forces of landgrabbing companies and the military.
“Aquino was able to make mining plunder and other destructive projects
easy by unleashing his military and paramilitary dogs. They made use of
various intimidation and harassment tactics to displace IP communities.
The call for scrapping the Mining Act of 1995 is deeply related with
stopping the vicious anti-people, anti-insurgency program, Oplan
Bayanihan,” Malayao concluded.
Reference: Piya Macliing Malayao, Secretary General | 0917-3631576
AUGUST 11, 2015
Reference: Mr. Tyrone Beyer
Indigenous Peoples and Advocates urge Congress to the Repeal the
Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Enact a Patriotic, Pro-Indigenous Peoples
and Pro-environment Mining Law
On the occasion of the United Nations-declared International Day of the
World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Scrap the Mining Act Network, KATRIBU
Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, and SULONG KATRIBU
Partylist indigenous peoples’ (IP) representatives from various
mine-affected communities and Manila-based IP rights advocates lobbied
Congress to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (R.A. No. 7942)
and enact a patriotic, pro-Indigenous Peoples, pro-environment mining
law. The group also staged a picket at the North gate of the House of
Representatives to support the petition and protest large-scale and
destructive mining in the country.
Catholic church personality Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB with the
indigenous peoples leaders from Central Luzon, Benguet, Mindoro, and
Palawan submitted the petition signed by some 15,000 signatories to the
offices of House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Natural Resources Committee
Chair Francisco Matugas and to the secretariat of Cultural Communities
Pya Macliing Malayao, KATRIBU Secretary General and a convener of the
Scrap the Mining Act Network said, “For us indigenous peoples, the
Mining Act of 1995 opened the flood gates of mining projects in our
ancestral territories. For 20 years, the law facilitated and continues
to legalize the land grabbing of our ancestral lands and resources by
foreign and large scale mining companies. Our resistance to these mining
projects resulted to the violation of our human rights – many of our
leaders and members were extra judicially killed, others threatened and
harassed. Trumped-up charges were also filed against our leaders and
community members in mine-affected area. The Mining Act is not only a
threat to our land and resources but the very survival of indigenous
communities all over the country.”
Since the enactment of the Mining Act of 1995, various groups that
include IPs and environmentalists actively lobbied congress to repeal
the law. A strong movement against large-scale and destructive mining
developed in the past years.
In 2011, legislators from the Makabayan bloc filed a bill to repeal the
law and pass a pro-people, pro-environment mining law. And in 2012,
the Committee on Natural Resources formed a technical working group to
deliberate on the issues against the Mining Act and consolidate various
bills filed. However, the process did not prosper. Again in 2013, the
Makabayan bloc refiled a revised bill to repeal the law and pass an
alternative pro-people, pro-environment mining law.
Malayao further said, “Under the present mining policy, it is only big
multinational mining companies and their local partners that profit in
the extraction of our country’s minerals. Host communities are
displaced, suffer loss of livelihood and remain in poverty. These
mining operations dump waste to our rivers, lakes, and seas; destroy our
mountains, forest, and watersheds. To save our last remaining
frontiers, mineral wealth and our country from further destruction, we
should scrap the Philippine Mining Act 0f 1995.”
“In our communities, we will persist in defending our land, resources
and life against the plunder and destruction of large-scale and
destructive mining as we join the Scrap the Mining Act Network to urge
Congress to repeal the anti-people, anti-environment law. The 15,000
signatures we initially submitted to Speaker Belmonte and Rep. Matugas
of the Natural Resources Committee signifies the peoples’ clear demand
to repeal the present mining law. We expect the Congress, delegated to
ensure peoples’ interest to do its task”, Malayao added.
The Scrap the Mining Act Network will continue its nationwide campaign
and gather hundreds of thousands of signatures from various parts of the
country and abroad. The network will also lobby the Senate. As long as
large-scale and destructive mining continue, the Network will launch
protest actions and raise the issue and concern as a platform in the
upcoming 2016 elections. #
Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao: Statement on IPs day
9 August 2015
Today, August 9, we join with other indigenous peoples around the world
to commemorate the World Indigenous Peoples’ Day and celebrate our
remarkable achievements, successes and even the hardships and challenges
we have encountered in our historic struggle against the dominant
neoliberal economic system in defence of our lands and rights.
This is also an opportune time to make more people aware of the issues
and challenges faced by indigenous peoples in various parts of the
country. International institutions and even Pope Francis himself have
recognized the significant role and contributions of indigenous peoples
in providing appropriate and strategic solutions to address major issues
like climate change, food security and sovereignty, inequality and
However, much as we would like to underscore the vital role of
indigenous peoples in protecting the environment and building a just and
sustainable society here in our country, we could not do so under the
US-Aquino regime. It has already retreated on our rights as indigenous
peoples and as human beings. Its persistent brutal treatment of
indigenous peoples is already a form of ethnocide. For five years,
Aquino has further intensified corporate land grabbing, dispossessing us
of that with which our survival is closely linked – our lands.
In his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino was again silent
on the true state of indigenous peoples even as he went on a tirade of
lies of how his “daang matuwid” (righteous path) has raised the
country’s global competitiveness and steered fast economic growth. The
“daang matuwid” is a sham; it is at its best, political and economic
marginalization of indigenous peoples.
Within five years, the US-Aquino regime has further strengthened its
Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, a repackaging of the same
liberalization, deregulation and privatization economic programs
promoted by past administrations. It has even widened the control of
imperialist countries or corporations and their local bourgeois
comprador partners in running our economy while drastically weakening
the State’s control over basic industries and social services.
In consequence, imperialist plunder has intensified further. There are
now at least 410 hydropower, 27 geothermal and 33 coal projects which
will further consolidate the monopoly of oligarchs – Aboitiz, Lopez,
Ayala, Cojuangco – and their foreign business partners over energy and
water services. Seven hundred seventy one mining applications have been
approved, 251 of which cover ancestral lands; 55% of the more than one
million hectares of land approved for mining is within indigenous
territories and more than a thousand mining applications are still
waiting to be processed.
At present, there are at least 125 agro-industrial projects across the
country and 105 sites under the National Greening Program (NGP) covering
more than 370,000 hectares of ancestral lands. Large-scale commercial
logging persists and in the Caraga region alone, up to 300,000 hectares
are covered by 11 logging concessions.
Imperialist plunder and militarization have driven off more than 40,000
Lumad (Mindanao’s indigenous peoples) from their territories because the
US-Aquino regime considers them obstacles to its neoliberal policies.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed at least
fifty-six percent of its soldiers in Mindanao to secure foreign business
Indeed, the US-Aquino regime is hell bent on plundering our ancestral
lands, forcibly displacing Lumad communities, destroying our livelihoods
and their cultures, to satisfy the greed of corporate predators.
Intensifying militarization and paramilitarism, under the banner of
Oplan Bayanihan, in indigenous communities belie the US-Aquino regime’s
pro-peace posturing. Aquino’s true intention is to break apart our
communities, destroy our leadership structures and relegate us to the
lowest level of society and eventually eradicate us so that imperialist
countries like the US could freely exploit our lands and resources. Like
its predecessor, this government espouses militarism and impunity.
Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan is as ruthless and bloody as Arroyo’s Oplan
Sixty-one indigenous peoples have been killed; seven detained; nine
incidents of bombings and fifty-two cases of forced evacuation happened
in Mindanao. The political repression of legal democratic movement is
also intensifying through the continuing harassment and filing of
trumped-up cases against 176 leaders and members of IP mass
organizations. Ninety-nine cases of harassment have been documented.
The government and its state forces including paramilitary groups like
the Alamara are also attacking IP schools in clear violation of the
inalienable right of children to education. One hundred forty six Lumad
schools in Mindanao are suffering from various forms of military
attack. The government’s closure order on 46 community schools have
affected at least 1,700 Lumad students in Southern Mindanao. The
attacks on IP schools is part of the systematic effort of the US-Aquino
regime to further marginalize indigenous peoples by depriving them of
culture-sensitive education for fear that Lumad children will become
more capable of asserting their rights and resisting the onslaught of
We assail the government for being so heartless in dealing with the
situation of the Lumad bakwits (evacuees). We recall how the
congressional representative, a self-proclaimed deity from North
Cotabato, insulted them by calling them stinky. She also instigated the
July 23 “rescue” operations that led to the illegal and forcible
dispersal of evacuees from Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte and
San Fernando, Bukidnon seeking refuge at UCCP (United Church of Christ
in the Philippines) Haran in Davao City. However, our leaders valiantly
stood their ground and unmasked the pretentious deity of her evil
intentions putting her back in the place where she rightfully belongs as
We sincerely commend Dr. Chaloka Beyani, the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, for
taking time to personally meet with the evacuees and listen to their
testimonies. In his preliminary report, Dr. Beyani noted that
“Conflict, militarization and displacement have become a common pattern
in some localities” and criticized the Aquino for its “poor to
non-existent responses to conflict-driven displacement crisis”. He also
pointed out that displacement of indigenous peoples has “incalculable
impact on their cultures and ways of life” and reminded the government
to pay attention to the causes of displacement. The UNSR also admonished
the Aquino government for its poor response to the victims of super
typhoon Yolanda despite huge resources spent.
We anticipate that in his last year in power, BS Aquino will ramp up its
anti-people policies and programs especially with regard to extractive
industries. The government will certainly continue its aggressive
selling of ancestral lands and natural resources to foreign monopoly
capitalists and local bourgeois compradors. Militarization will further
intensify and we can expect a sharp increase in human rights violations
as well as massive corruption.
However, we remain unfazed. We must continue fighting for our lands and
rights. Let us strengthen our solidarity with the peasants, workers and
other sectors of society and continue to build a stronger peoples’
movement to end imperialist plunder, militarization, and national
oppression. We believe that it is only under a nationalist and
democratic society that we, indigenous peoples, will be able to enjoy
our fundamental freedoms and exercise our collective rights most
especially our inseparable rights to our ancestral lands and