From: Neufeldt, Christie
Sent: March-03-16 11:50 AM
To: ‘militarized_commerce-bounces@list.web.net’
Subject: Take Action: Stop the Attacks on Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines

Dear colleagues,

Please respond to this call from partner, United Church of Christ in the Philipines by writing to the Philippine government and by sharing the call with others. This Take Action can also be found online at: http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/act-now/stop-attacks-indigenous-peoples-philippines.

In the early morning of February 24, 2016, a fire broke out at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines’ (UCCP) Haran Mission Center in Davao City. An initial investigation ruled arson as the cause. Five people (including two children) were burned and two buildings were destroyed. The mission center shelters about 700 Lumad—Indigenous peoples from the region of Mindanao who have been displaced by heavy militarization.

“The incident is part of a bigger picture of state violence against the Lumad and it is high time that the international community tore away the façade of respectability on which the Philippines government continues to trade in the global economy,” said Canon Barry Naylor, chair of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Canada.

On February 26, Moderator Jordan Cantwell wrote a letter to Philippine President B.S. Aquino voicing the United Church’s deep concern regarding the ongoing violence and harassment directed against Indigenous peoples in Mindanao:

“The United Church of Canada stands in partnership and solidarity with ICHRP Canada, UCCP, KARAPATAN: Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, and others actively engaged in seeking peace through justice in [the Philippines]. This includes a commitment to support calls for the well-being of all Filipinos, especially the vulnerable and marginalized.”

Take Action

1.Pray for justice for the Lumad and peace in their lands. Offer prayers of healing and safety for those who were injured in the fire, and remember those who have lost their lives in the ongoing violence against the Lumad.

2.Write to Philippine government officials with an urgent appeal calling for

1.an immediate investigation of this fire be conducted by an independent body

2.an end to the continued harassment of the Lumad

3.the Philippine government to adhere to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

A sample letter is available at: http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/act-now/stop-attacks-indigenous-peoples-philippines

3.Share this Take Action through your social media networks. Use the hashtag #UCCan.

Background

Indigenous peoples in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao (collectively called Lumad) have suffered violent attacks, harassment, and displacement. The Lumad live in mineral-rich areas, and the militarization to protect foreign mining interests has driven many Lumad to seek shelter outside their communities. For more information, see End Violence against Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines.

The United Church’s Beaconsfield Initiative has studied the impact of Canadian mining interests in the Philippines since 2006. At our recent 42nd General Council in August 2015, commissioners recommended extending the work of this initiative. This included calling for the end of human rights violations of people and people’s organizations of the Southern Philippines, and encouraging government action that requires Canadian mining companies to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples, labour rights, and the right to a healthy environment.

Send your e-mails to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President of the Republic of the Philippines

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

E-mail: dnd.opla@gmail.com

Emmanuel L. Caparas

Secretary, Department of Justice

E-mail: osec.doj@gmail.com

Send copies of your e-mails to:

Hon. Neil Reeder

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Embassy of Canada

E-mail: manil@international.gc.ca

Christie Neufeldt

Program Coordinator, Public Witness

416-231-7680 ext. 4078

1-800-268-3781 ext. 4078

cneufeldt@united-church.ca

For more information, contact:

Patti Talbot

Program Coordinator, Partnerships in Asia and the Pacific

416-231-7680 ext. 4018

1-800-268-3781 ext. 4018

ptalbot@united-church.ca

Christie Neufeldt

Program Coordinator

Church in Mission

The United Church of Canada

3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300

Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4

1 800 268 3781/416 231 7680 ext. 4078

Fax: 416 231 3103

www.united-church.ca

Christie Neufeldt

Program Coordinator

Church in Mission

The United Church of Canada

3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300

Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4

1 800 268 3781/416 231 7680 ext. 4078

Fax: 416 231 3103

www.united-church.ca


Jamie Kneen, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada
MiningWatchMiningWatch@MiningWatch