Philippines: KATRIBU to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Impunity
reigns, human rights violations against the IPs continue

Philippines: KATRIBU to the UN Universal Periodic Review: Impunity reigns, human rights violations against the IPs continue

11 May 2017

Released before the Philippine Government Report to the UN Human Rights
Council

The national minorities call on to President Duterte to make the
US-Aquino Regime accountable. Secondly, its administration should stay
its hand from violating the rights of IP by stopping the ethnocidal
all-out war against indigenous communities, revoke the Mining Act of
1995 and enact the People’s Mining Bill, and should come to an agreement
in the peace talks with the NDFP on the social and economic reforms.

All-out War against the indigenous peoples

The culture of impunity continues under the Duterte Administration and
its Oplan Kapayapaan. No justice has been awarded to the victims of the
104 indigenous peoples (IP) extra-judicially killed by state armed
forces and the more than 20,000 Lumad who have forcibly left their homes
due to the intense military operations of the AFP under the US-Aquino
Regime, and new violations are being committed by the new administration.

Since the open declaration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines of an
all-out war against the New People’s Army in February 2017, four (4)
indigenous peoples were killed by the AFP and at least 3,784 indigenous
peoples evacuated from their communities in Alabel, Saranggani;
Lambunao, Iloilo; Namal, Ifugao; Maddela, Quirino; and Kicharao, Agusal
del Norte due to the intensified military combat operations. The
rabidity and viciousness of the AFP has even worsened as they bombed
peasant indigenous communities in Compostela Valley, Oriental Mindoro,
Davao Oriental, Saranggani and Abra. The all-out war is proving to be a
war against the people.

Since July 2016 until the end of March 2017, at least 20 IP have become
victims of extrajudicial killings by the AFP and its paramilitary
groups, and private security forces of landlords and big businesses.
They were community leaders, officers of IP organizations, advocates for
just peace and were part of active campaigns opposing large-scale and
destructive mining, logging, plantations, land grabbing, paramilitary
groups and militarism. The recent attacks prove that the saboteurs
inside the AFP have never been sincere in pursuing the genuine path to
peace.

Militaristic solutions to end armed revolution rooted in decades of
oppression and poverty will always fail and cause grave atrocities
against the people. History has proven that the people will never cower
amidst the bloodshed brought upon by the AFP. The warmongers in the
Duterte Administration have prevailed and are now calling the shots in
making sure that the oligarchs, foreign corporations and destructive
mining companies will have their way in extorting the wealth of our people.

The AFP has long aided destructive mining corporations, agro-industrial
companies, and local oligarchs in their quest to encroach our ancestral
lands to plunder our resources. Empowered by policies and institutions
such as the Mining Act of 1995 and the National Commission on Indigenous
Peoples (NCIP), and by seducing and coercing indigenous groups into
joining paramilitary groups under the Executive Order 546 and the Oplan
Kapayapaan; the government has long been advocating the destruction of
our communities through deception and violence.

Mining: against collective rights of indigenous peoples

The liberalized mining industry legalized by the Philippine Mining Act
of 1995 has denied us of our collective rights to our ancestral lands
and self-determination, deprived us of our sustainable livelihood,
destroyed our sacred lands, alienated our communities with the meager
“share” or crumbs they throw away, with basic social services offered as
bribe, but worst have unleashed military-supported paramilitary and
investment defense forces of mining corporations that perpetrate grave
human rights violations.

As of March 2015, there are at least 246 approved mining applications in
areas occupied by IP covering an estimated 619,000 hectares of ancestral
lands in the country. Aside from the adverse impacts on the livelihood
and health, KATRIBU has monitored and documented cases of killings,
harassment and filing of trumped up charges, violation of the right to
FPIC (free, prior and informed consent) in indigenous communities
affected by mining operations. None of these have been resolved even
with the existence of the NCIP as it favors the corporations.

As an addition to the attack against the national patrimony of the
Filipino people, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) and its
counterpart in the Philippine Congress has been opposing the
confirmation of Gina Lopez as the Secretary of the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) since 2016. The Commission on
Appointments (CA) pulled off the rule of bureaucrat capitalism, and
again rejected Gina Lopez’s confirmation for the interest of big mining
corporations.

The congress is still filled with landlords and businessmen, using their
power to secure their interests. They go along with the export-oriented
character of the national economy where ores and unprocessed minerals
are exported to other countries without being used for domestic
processing and industries. On the other hand, Secretary Gina Lopez is
standing for our national patrimony. And she has been attacked by
oligarchs, giant corporations and landlords who are subsumed in
maintaining their monopoly over our ancestral lands and mineral
resources and disregarding the environmental damage and the lasting
adverse effect to the IP and entire nation. #

Source: Katribu