Tag Archives: Ifugao

[Press Release] Falsely charged labor leaders plea for investigation, cries due process -CTUHR

Falsely charged labor leaders plea for investigation, cries due process

CTUHR logoFalsely charged labor leaders sought court intervention to drop counts of criminal charges by members of AFP in a preliminary hearing last March 7 in Labo, Camariners Norte Regional Trial Court.

In their pleading, abducted and detained Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano, both labor leaders and members Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), together with Amelita Baravante and Roy Velez of Kilusang Mayo Uno, cited prosecutors’ arbitrary proceedings that violate their right to due process.

Prosecutors did not oppose motions to conduct investigation but slammed their motion to quash information and warrant of arrest, which will supposedly release the two detained leaders and drop charges against the two others if approved.

The labor leader’s motion, now submitted for resolution to judge, and will be decided after 30 days.

On December last year, charges of murder linking to twp New People’s Army (NPA) operations in the 49th IB detachment in Camarines Norte and another in Ifugao were slapped against the four labor leaders together with 26 other individuals. These charges became known to the leaders’ relatives days after the abduction of Vegas and Camposano by military agents in two separate locations in Metro Manila. Vegas and Camposano were subsequently detained in Daet District Jail in Camarines Norte.

“No subpoena nor any notice was sent to sent to the them during the preliminary investigation which clearly violates their right to due process. But beyond that, this increasing trend of filing of false charges against trade unionists which is even more alarming as it attacks their right and freedom to unionize,” said Arman Hernando, CTUHR coordinator for documentation.

Charges were filed by main complainant P/ C Insp. Weneco Fuentes of Camarines Norte CIDG backed by the testimonies of members of the 49th IB and intelligence asset who identifies the accused based on his alleged “records”.

Research from labor NGO, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, showed that malicious or trumped up criminal charges against labor leaders and workers, mostly unionists, has more than doubled from an average of 42 individuals charged per year between 2004-2009 to an average of 90 individuals every year between 2010 to 2012. (See link)

“To a large extent, this rise in malicious filing of criminal charges against unionists, not to mention other forms of human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, can be attributed to the government’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan,” Hernando said.

CTUHR called on to the Aquino administration to drop false charges against unionists and comply with the recommendations of the International Labor Organization (ILO) following ILO’s High Level Mission in 2009.

CTUHR also appealed to the public to urge the government to end oppressive policies such as Oplan Bayanihan. “Counter insurgency programs of past governments have cost many lives and have highly-compromised our freedoms and rights. We are challenged to unite against Op Bay and press the Aquino administration to live up to its promise of straight path and bring an end to human rights violations.” Hernando added.

RELEASE
15 March 2013
for Reference: Arman Hernando, CTUHR Coordinator for Documentation, +632.411.0256

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[People] May she rest in peace by Judy Pasimio

May she rest in peace

By Judy A. Pasimio / LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio photo from lilakToday, Sheryll Ananayo-Puguon was laid to rest. At least that’s what we say when we bury our dead. But I wonder if Sheryll is indeed at rest today. If my lola (grandmother) is to be believed, one’s spirit or soul, hovers around for days after one’s death, especially if the death was unexpected, and sudden. The spirit will be moving around, still not knowing that it has left its body, and then spend some more time, coming to terms with the truth that it already has. If so, then Sheryll could not be at rest today. As a mother, I imagine, Sheryll would be wondering how come her John Ezekiel is no longer breastfeeding on her. Then she would be seeing Samantha, her 4-year old daughter, pestering her grandmother, asking when her mother would wake up. Then Sheryll would see her own mother, crying, her eyes puffed and tired.

Then it might all come back to her – it was a bright afternoon, on the 7th of December, they were on their way home to Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. She was sitting in front, with 3-month old John Ezekiel in her arms. Her cousin-in-law Randy Domingo was driving. Samantha, with her 4-year old cousin, sitting at the back of the van, were probably chatting away. And as they made a turn, there at Sitio Waterfalls, Sheryll saw, or heard first, it would all be a blur now – two men in a motorbike blocking their way, and shots were fired. Instinctively, she would have held John Ezekiel closer to her body, probably bending over to cover him, felt the pang of pain in her body, heard the shouts of Samantha, and the silence that came after. She was probably willing herself not to give in to the pain of the several gunshot wounds on her body to protect John and Samantha. She probably knew right away that Randy has been killed. She was probably praying to her Ifugao gods and goddesses, as she felt hands helping her out of the van, to please make her alright and survive this, thinking of her tiny John. And as she felt herself fading away, she was probably asking – why? What has happened? Why it has happened?

Today, Sheryll was laid to rest. But rest will not be with Sheryll, not when there is still no answer as to why she was brutally taken away from her children, and in their presence too. It was not a robbery, as the gunmen did not take any material thing from the van. No motive could be identified by the police. Sheryll was leading a relatively quiet life, different from that of her mother – Carmen Ananayo, or Manang Carmen to us. Manang Carmen is one of the active, vocal and committed leaders of DESAMA (Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association), who have maintained her opposition against the gold mining operations in Didipio. It is Manang Carmen who has been receiving threats against her life. It is by the house of Manang Carmen where vehicles would be seen parked at odd times, especially during meetings with those who continue to oppose the mining operations.

Randy, on the other hand, was a small-scale mining operator in Didipio, who was believed to be having disputes with the large scale mining company.

As Sheryll is laid to rest, I wonder, will her spirit ever be at rest, knowing how Samantha has witnessed her violent death? And wondering what she has done to deserve this? I know for sure that Manang Carmen won’t be, until the real motive for killing has been known, the perpetrators have been identified and justice has been served.

The killing of Sheryll Ananayo-Puguon and Randy Domingo is now added to the growing list of atrocities and acts of violence in areas where there are mining operations. Their killings are added to the growing long list of cases of impunity under the Aquino administration.

If my lola is to be believed about the spirits of the dead who could not come to terms with the truth of their deaths, then the spirits of Sheryll, Randy as well as Juvy, Jordan, John, and younger Jordan, and other indigenous peoples who are victims of unsolved killings, are still hovering amidst us.

Rest there will not be, until justice is served to them.

Rest there will not be, until the killings are stopped. Not for the spirits, not for us.

judy.lilak@gmail.com / 63-9175268341


LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lilak-Purple-Action-for-Indigenous-Womens-Rights/446251688730248

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[Press Release] On the commemoration of IPRA; Solon, IP leaders call for justice, peace and solidarity -ATM

On the commemoration of IPRA; Solon, IP leaders call for justice, peace and solidarity
Rep. Baguilat declares year-round campaign

Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the lone district of Ifugao, with other indigenous peoples leaders in the country call on the government to act fast on the Tampakan massacre and other IP killings. Photo by Jay Asuzena/ PhilRights.

In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the promulgation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act or IPRA (RA 8371), Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat of the lone district of Ifugao, with other indigenous peoples leaders in the country call on the government to act fast on the Tampakan massacre and other IP killings, promote peace in IP communities and to join them in advancing sustainable development in their ancestral domains.

In a media forum today in Quezon City, Rep. Baguilat declared a year-long series of commemoration activities for the IPRA from October 2012 to October 2013 to further promote IP rights and increase awareness among the general public.

Rep. Baguilat condemned the B’laan killings in Davao del Sur last Oct. 18, killing a mother and her two children. He also called on the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to immediately conduct and complete their investigations to bring justice to the B’lann community.

Against ethnocide
Alarmed with the brutal killings ofin Davao del Sur and the murders of other IP leaders protecting their ancestral domains, Rep. Baguilat demanded an urgent investigation of the following cases.

“The Tampakan Massacre is a crime committed to the whole indigenous community and a big insult to the IPRA that recognizes the rights of indigenous community to protect their ancestral lands,” Baguilat added.

“I condemn these acts of harassments, terrors and attacks to IP leaders and communities, much so when the perpetrators are the military who are supposed to protect the Filipino people. I don’t know if they are even aware of IPRA?” he added.

Other issues
Other IP leaders raised other issues confronting tribal communities. Ka Remo Bolhayon, an Ifugao from Nueva Vizcaya discussed the long struggle of IP families in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya against the operation of Oceana Gold Philippines Inc., and the proposed Diduyom dam project in their mountains.

“Masakit man isipin, na sa kabila ng pagpasa ng IPRA, napakarami pa ring pangigipit ang ginagawa sa aming mga katutubo. Ang aming mariing pagtanggi sa mga proyektong tulad ng pagmimina at pagbuo ng dam sa aming kabundukan ay tila hindi pa rin nadidinig ng mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan, kaya naman sa mahabang panahon ay wala kaming natatanggap na aksyon dito.” Ka Remo added. (Unfortunately, despite the IPRA, there are still a number of harassments to the IPs. Our rejections on projects like mining and dam in our mountains are still not being heard by government agencies that in many years, these remained to be unaddressed by the government.)

Ka Badong Dimain, an Aeta from Zambales, lamented that they are threatened by human rights violations such as death threats, discrimination and physical displacement and dislocation. “Marami kasi sa amin ay hindi naabot ng eskwelahan, mga doctor, mga iba pang tulong ng gobyerno, kaya madalas, hindi namin alam na may mga karapatan kami, kahit na nga 15 taon na ang pagpapatupad ng IPRA.”

Bae Rose, a woman tribal leader in a Higanonan community in Misamis Oriental recalled the joint resolution of indigenous women asking National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to air their denouncement on the Tampakan massacre and join them in calling justice for the victims.

Meanwhile, Rep. Baguilat also expressed the willingness of his office along with many other ethno-liguistic groups to pursue reforms in implementing IPRA.

In solidarity
Meanwhile, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina said IPRA is one of the standing principles of the campaign against destructive mining. “Without a valid free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from the affected IP communities, no activities such as open-pit mining should be implemented in their ancestral domains.”

“Sagitarrius Mines Inc., the proponent of Tampakan mining project, had seriously violated this rule in IPRA. SMI has failed to get consent from three B’laans communities — that should have been a clear indication that they should no longer implement the project”, Garganera concluded.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB. (30)

Contact details:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – 09277617602
Edel S. Garingan – ATM media and communication officer, 09228918972

[Advisory] Press Conference: Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the IPRA -ATM

MEDIA ADVISORY

Press Conference: Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the IPRA
October 29, 2012 (Monday) / Time: 10:30 am
at Treehouse Restaurant, Matalino St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City

Main Guest:
Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Lone District of Ifugao and Chairperson of House Committee on National Cultural Communities (or Indigenous Peoples)

Panelists:
Datu Ed Banda (Manobo from Cotabato)
Datu Vic Saway (Talaandig from Bukidnon)
Remo Bolhayon (Kankanaey from Nueva Vizcaya)
Beverly Longid (Ifugao, KATRIBU partylist)
Salvador Dimain (Aeta from Zambales)
Bae Rose Undag (Higaonon Woman Leader)

Main Topic: Commemoration of 15th Anniversary of Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA)
Sub-topics: Condemnation of rencent IP killings, October as IP Month

Photo-ops and interview with the panelists can be arranged.
There will be a ritual for peace, justice and solidarity. All panelists were requested to come in indigenous attire.

Lunch will be served after.
Media coverage is requested.

Contact persons:
Edel S. Garingan, 09184894513, 09228918972
Farah Sevilla, 09235122374

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[Press Release] IPs, green groups slam Oceana Gold and Diduyon Dam Project in Nueva Vizcaya, again!-ATM

IPs, green groups slam Oceana Gold and Diduyon Dam Project in Nueva Vizcaya, again!
Earth Day celebration ended with prayer rally for agriculture and IP rights

Photo source Alyansa Tigil Mina

Nueva Vizcaya–Dressed in their tribal attire and armed with nothing but slogans and streamers saying “madimit kayat ti mina” (no to mining), more than 300 residents and Ifugaos of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya with support from various civil society groups camped in front of Kasibu Municipal Hall to exclaim their opposition against the mining operation of Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) and the proposed Diduyon Dam project.

“Gusto naming muling igiit ang nagkakaisang damdamin ng mga mamamayan at katutubo ng aming bayan na ayaw namin sa mina,” (we would like to stress again the united stand of the residents and IP groups in our town that we do not like mining) said Raymundo Bolyahon, chairperson of Salaknib, an alliance of people’s organization in Nueva Vizcaya as they celebrated Earth Day.

“Buhay at kabuhayan ang kailangan namin hindi ang mga proyektong makakasira lamang sa aming kalikasan,” (we give more importance to life and our livelihood than the projects that will only destroy our environment) Bolyahon added.

Lorenzo Pulido, vice-president of Didipio Earth-Savers Multi-purpose Association (DESAMA) also said, “Dapat malaman at maalala ng pamahalaan na may mga Kasibu na ayaw sa mina. Handa kaming ituloy ang laban na mapa-alis ang minahan sa aming bayan.” (The government should know and remember that there are people in Kasibu who are against mining. We will push through with our fight to kick mining out in our town).

No business permit for OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.

The group also filed a local resolution in Kasibu Sangguniang Bayan pushing to deny the “permit to operate” for OGPI for grave disregard of their human rights. They have noted various violations including the aggressive dispersal of some residents in Didipio and the harassment to a barangay official accused of instigating opposition to OGPI.

“The community had experienced coercions from OceanaGold – from the displacement of people, violence from local police and sabotage to their livelihood. These should be more than enough for the government to break off the operation of OGPI,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

The resolution is also calling for a CEASE and DESIST order to hamper any further operations of OGPI.

-more-

Save Nueva Vizcaya

Aside from the resolution, the group also launched a signature-campaign that aims to gather more than 6,000 autographs that will attest to the stronghold of people opposing OGPI and the dam project.

Leaders of Salaknib include the Kasibu Inter-tribal Response for Ecological Development (KIRED), DESAMA, Bileg ti Barangay Bitnong (3B) and Malabing Valley Tribal Association (MVTA) also issued a statement of support to the bill passed by Congressman Carlos M. Padilla declaring Nueva Vizcaya as a mining free zone.

Likewise, the alliance also supported the call to repeal the Philippine Mining Act and urged the government to enact a new minerals management bill that will ensure that indigenous peoples right to self-determination and to manage their ancestral domains is respected.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the passage of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act a.k.a. Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Research & Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61

Press Release
April 30, 2012

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[Press Release] IP solon notes rejection of mining at local level

IP solon notes rejection of mining at local level

Photo source: kayanatin.org

“We’re seeing a wave of local ordinances declaring their corresponding jurisdictions as mining-free zones and asserting moratoriums on open pit mining, which can only mean that at the local level, people are rejecting mining.”

Thus remarked Cong. Teddy Brawner Baguilat (Lone District, Ifugao) at the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Forum last Tuesday at Intramuros, Manila.

Baguilat observed that Davao City, Capiz, Zamboanga Sur, Romblon, Nueva Vizcaya, and a number of other local governments, are passing ordinances banning mining in their territories.

“Some Congressmen are even passing resolutions calling a stop to mining in their districts or provinces,” Baguilat added.

Baguilat said that these measures indicated that people are disappointed with the effect of mining in their lives and livelihood.

“I have yet to encounter a mining project that has clearly benefited the host community,” Baguilat said.

“Thus far, what we are hearing about are environmental damage like polluted water systems and cave-ins, and tension or conflict in indigenous communities affected by mining interests,” Baguilat added.

Baguilat’s statements come at the heels of fresh debates on the viability of mining, and at a time when Malacanang is pondering an Executive Order that will reportedly provide the master plan for mining industries in the country.

“What we need is a new framework for mining that departs from the antiquated Mining Act of 1995,” Baguilat proposed.

Such a framework, according to Baguilat, is provided by the proposed Mineral Resources Act or the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

“This proposed law seeks to regulate the rational exploration, development and use of mineral resources, and ensure equitable sharing of benefits among the government, indigenous peoples and local communities,” Baguilat explained.

“This framework departs from earlier mining laws and policies that focused on extracting minerals without looking after the impact of those activities on communities and the environment,” Baguilat added.

Baguilat thus hoped that there would be sufficient support to pass the proposed Mineral Resources Act. ##

For further information, please contact the Office of Rep. Teddy Baguilat at 931-5106 or at email address teddy.ifugaocongress@gmail.com.

[Appeal] Appeal for support for the typhoon victims in Ifugao

Appeal for support for the typhoon victims in Ifugao

Dear CGIP Friends,

We would also like to appeal for any help you can extend to our kababayans who were affected by the recent typhoons. Here are the updates as of 10 am today: affected barangays-110, families – 2,195, Persons – 10,430 (M- 5,130 and F-5,300). totally damaged houses – 139. partially damaged houses- 2,120. 4 dead and 21 injured. there are now 7 evacuation centers (located in Banaue, Lamut and Hungduan). majority of the roads are still impassable due to landslides and collapsed bridges. Food, medicines, fuel and basic necessities are very much needed.  We have drop off sites for donations in kind which are as follows:

Manila: office of the Phil. Assoc. for Intercultural Development (PAFID) at 71 Malakas Street, Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1101. Tel. (632) 927-4580; (632) 928-6267. Please look for Ms. Marge or Jay-R.

**collection of donations will be until Sunday, Oct 9

Baguio: Human Resource Development Office, UP Baguio, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City. Kindly look for Ma’am Maan Diaz.

**collection of donations will be until Saturday, Oct. 8

Thanks to PAFID and UP Baguio for joining us in this initiative.

Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT) is also temporarily converting their GCash Donor account into a Relief Donation venue for Ifugao. Text: DONATE (amount) MPIN CORDI and send to 2882.

For other cash donations, we will be sending the details by tomorrow at the latest.

Thanks and we’ll keep you posted.

From: Robeliza Halip [robieleeza@gmail.com]

[Press Release] Groups protest against DENR, reject mining policy – alyansatigilmina.net

Jaybee Garganera, Natl. Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina together with other advocates protest inside DENR compound. Photos by ATM

Groups protest against DENR, reject mining policy
Indigneous peoples shout ‘no to mining our ancestral lands!’

Manila – About a hundred protestors held a rally in front of DENR yesterday, demanding that the government stop the entry of large-scale mining in ancestral lands of indigenous peoples.  The event coincided with the 4th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or UNDRIP.

Indigenous peoples from the Cordillera region, Central Luzon, and the islands of Mindoro and Palawan are in Manila participating in the UNDRIP celebrations, and are holding national consultations on pending bills in Congress, including proposed laws on forestry, mining and land use.  Participants represented the various ethno-linguistic groups including Ifugaos, Aetas, Dumagats, Mangyans and Palaw’ans.

Read more

[Press Release] Baguilat hits NLDC of the Department of Agriculture – Office of Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat

Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat is up in arms over the difficulties securing valuable assistance to his constituents from the National Livelihood Development Corp., an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, through which he coursed P5 million of his Philippine Development Assistance Fund.

According to Baguilat, he allotted the P5 million as livelihood assistance to farmers in Ifugao. The Department of Budget and Management coursed it through NLDC, which then said that the best way to use the precious funds was to invest in an animal dispersal program.

“I thought they would release the checks or the fund which we will then give to the local government units, who will then purchase the animals. But as it turned out, they wanted to purchase and deliver the farm animals themselves,” Baguilat said.

On the day that Baguilat had arranged for the beneficiaries to come together in Ifugao to receive the animals, the supplier only provided 40 piglets, 30 goats and 150 ducks.

“I could not believe that for P5 million, that was all that I got. I was dismayed. To make matters worse, there was no liquidation report, so I do not know how the P5 million was spent,” Baguilat said.

Following his complaints with the NLDC, the agency eventually gave his office the money to buy another 150 piglets, saying they could now buy the piglets themselves.

“They left it at that. There was no accounting. I am really disappointed. This should not be tolerated. This is corruption! And we don’t know if this is happening in other districts, too, or if this is happening in other branches of government,” Baguilat said.

“I have heard complaints from others saying that they got cows for dispersal that were very thin and seedlings that did not sprout. Somebody is earning from all of these,” he added.

Baguilat has thus called on the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Budget and Management to closely study the procurement system to investigate because people’s money is at stake. If findings reveal that there indeed irregularities in the procurement, those responsible should be held accountable.

“We are doing our part to help our constituents. The other government agencies should respond for the good of our people so that they know that their taxes are going to the right projects,” he said. #

Office of Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat
Lone District, Ifugao
Chairman, National Cultural Communities

For questions, please contact Robeliza Halip at:
Tel. No.:  (02) 9315106/Mobile No.:  09214928244/email address: robieleeza@gmail.com

[From the web] Ifugao women air military harassments – www.nordis.net

By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
www.nordis.net

PARACELIS, Mt. Province — Women of Banga-banga, Aguinaldo, Ifugao trooped to witness a hearing at barangay Botigue Lupon Tagapamayapa of a case filed against an AFP second lieutenant here and hoped for a chance to air their experience of military harassment.

Image extracted from http://www.nordis.net

The contingent of 20 villagers arrived at the barangay early in the morning of Saturday, 18 June but were not given permission to address the Lupon. To which members of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, organized a forum for them to relate their issues to members of the Ifugao Peasant Leaders Forum (IPLF), Cordillera Peoples Alliance – Mt Province (CPAMP), and Innabuyog – Gabriela who also arrived to witness the hearing held that afternoon.

Read ful article @ www.nordis.net

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HRonlinePH says…

Where is the paradigm shift here?

The AFP Human Rights Affairs Office must look into this matter with urgency. How can the Government gain the confidence of the people when human rights violations persist on the ground?