ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-084-2016

13 July 2016

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PHILIPPINES: Private security guards harass indigenous Lumads for land

ISSUES: Threat and intimidation, Right to life, Indigenous people
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply concerned about the harassment of the members of the TINDOGA (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), a Lumad organization, by private security guards belonging to Pablo Lorenzo. Lorenzo is claiming the ancestral land of the Lumads.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by the Katungod Lumad Alert)

On 9 July 2016 at 8 a.m., Judy Batyag was attending to her small farm in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon when 12 Lorenzo Blue Guards, security guards of Pablo Lorenzo, who is claiming the Lumad land, fired their guns. She immediately ran to her neighbor Bae Jocelyn Agdahan’s house, who is also a Lumad tribe member. Agdahan disseminated the information to the community so they could safeguard their farmland from the security guards, and reported the incident to the nearest police station.

The members of TINDOGA, (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), have been fighting for their ancestral domain against the usurpation of a previous ranch-owner, Pablo ‘Poling’ Lorenzo, in the area. For a long time, they have been trying to reclaim the land, which had been loaned by their ancestor to the Montalvan ranch, claimed by Pablo Lorenzo.

In March last year, Mabini ‘Tata’ Beato, a member of TINDOGA, was shot dead by Lorenzo’s guards while working on his farm. Until now, there has been no justice for the incident. Althouth harassment towards the Lumads have lessened since Beato’s death, they have not totally ceased .

The TINDOGA members were finally able to get their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and were installed in their land in 2015 together with some other families outside the organization. After winning the May 2016 elections as Vice-Mayor of the City however, Pablo Lorenzo has been petitioning the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the release of the lands to the Montalvan Ranch allegedly to put up a pineapple plantation.

The TINDOGA members and their families wish to maintain and plant crops for their own consumption and to sustain the daily needs of each family.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the case.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-084-2016

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

Philippines: Private security guards harass indigenous Lumads for land

Name of victims: Judy Batyag and the members of TINDOGA, a Lumad organisation
Name of Alleged Perpetrator: Lorenzo Blue Guards, led by Pablo Lorenzo
Date of incident: 9 July 2016
Place of Incident: Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon

I am writing to raise my serious concerns at the harassment of indigenous people in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon.

On 9 July 2016 at 8 a.m., Judy Batyag was attending to her small farm in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon when 12 Lorenzo Blue Guards, security guards of Pablo Lorenzo, who is claiming the Lumad land, fired their guns. She immediately ran to her neighbor Bae Jocelyn Agdahan’s house, who is also a Lumad tribe member. Agdahan disseminated the information to the community so they could safeguard their farmland from the security guards, and reported the incident to the nearest police station.

The members of TINDOGA, (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), have been fighting for a long time for their ancestral domain against the usurpation of previous ranch-owner, Pablo ‘Poling’ Lorenzo. They finally obtained their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and were installed in their land in 2015. Pablo continues however to claim the land and harassing the Lumad members.

I have learned that one Lumad member was even shot dead by Lorenzo’s security guards. Despite this, the Lumad members continue to protect their ancestral land and plant crops to sustain their daily needs.

I respectfully urge you to investigate this case properly and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Also, ensure that the families of the victims are given protection adequately. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines should monitor and evaluate whether the investigation is conducted in accordance with standards of fair trial. Lastly, I urge you to ensure that RA 8371 or The Indigenous People’s Rights Act is used to uphold the rights of the indigenous people.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: info@dnd.gov.ph

4. Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 521-1614

5. Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
2/F N. dela Merced Bldg. corner West &
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Tel: +63 8373-9942
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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