Tag Archives: Indigenous People

[From the web] Violence between state forces and the NPA puts indigenous peoples lives at risk -AIph

Violence between state forces and the NPA puts indigenous peoples lives at risk
4 September 2020

Responding to reports of escalating violence in Surigao del Sur between government security forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) which led to the killing of two young indigenous people, Amnesty International Philippines Director, Butch Olano, said:

“Violence between state forces and non-state actors in Surigao del Sur has continued to build up after the Anti-Terrorism Law was enacted in July, with reports of more indigenous communities at risk of getting caught in the crossfire. Amnesty International Philippines has received reports of harassment perpetrated both by the military and NPA where a large number of residents have been internally displaced due to armed violence in the area. Incidents of killings of civilians, some of young indigenous people, are very concerning.

“State forces must not forget to uphold the protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law as part of any counter-insurgency strategy. The government should recognize that clashes between state forces and armed groups drastically affect the lives and livelihood of civilians, and must adopt a concrete plan for the internally displaced or those who are forced to flee out of fear for their lives and safety. Such a plan must be developed in full consultation with affected communities.

“Amnesty International Philippines is calling on the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), as the main government agency tasked with protecting the interests of Indigenous peoples, to do its job in preventing rights violations against IP groups in the affected areas.

“We denounce indiscriminate attacks brought about by military operations, as well as attacks targeting the general population carried out by non-state actors. We call on the military and the NPA to refrain from any attack of this nature. All attacks targeting members of the general population must be promptly and effectively investigated, those suspected of responsibility must be brought to justice in fair trials; the human rights of the victims of such attacks must also be respected and fulfilled.

“Amnesty International Philippines is concerned that the hastily enacted Anti-Terrorism Act is being used as an excuse to violate human rights. The government should ensure that all measures taken against non-state actors fully comply with their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law and that the Anti-Terrorism Act does not lead to further human rights abuses.”

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Violence between state forces and the NPA puts indigenous peoples lives at risk

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[Press Release] IP leaders lobby for full inclusion of rights in the Bangsamoro Basic Law

IP leaders lobby for full inclusion of rights in the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Manila – On May 19 to 21, non-Moro Indigenous Peoples in the Bangsamoro will intensify their plea for the recognition of their own rights in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) – currently being written and reviewed by the Office of the President – through visits and discussions with various organizations and government institutions in Manila.

lrc_logo_shadow

The 6-person IP lobby delegation, led by Timuay Alim Bandara, a Teduray leader and Head Claimant of the Ancestral Domain claims of the Teduray, Lambangian and Dulangan Manobo in the ARMM, and other IP women and men leaders from Erumanen ne Menuvu and Obo Monovu tribes aim to call on the Philippine government to include in the due diligence and eventual passage, a BBL that fully recognizes their distinct identity as non-Moro Indigenous Peoples and their fundamental rights to govern their fusaka inged or ancestral territory.

“We support — as we have from the beginning — the peace process and the agreement reached between the Philippine government and our brothers MILF. We congratulate them on this historic achievement,” said traditional leader timuay Alim Bandara, who is also council member of the Indigenous Political Structure registered as Timuay Justice and Governance (TJG).

“However, as a community with our own customary practices and beliefs, culture, history, and identity and territory, my people, the Teduray, are appealing to the Philippine Government to take notice and to help us in our struggle to survive and live with dignity,” Bandara added.

Another timuay from the Teduray community, a member of the TJG, and former commissioner of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Santos Unsad also said: “Let not our distinct identity as a people be ignored and erased from our history. Instead, let us continue to walk this road to justice and peace carrying our rights, our lands, our identities.”

Among the issues to be raised in the visit are the IP’s right to identity, ancestral domains, self-determination and self-governance, and respect and protection of their other existing rights – issues that have been raised by the IP groups in the different peace talks, but, which have not been certainly reflected in the documents that came out of the negotiations process between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The IP lobby mission is convened by the Timuay Justice Governance (TJG) and the Gempa te Kelindaan ne Kamal, the indigenous political structures (IPS) of the Teduray, Lambangian and Erumanen ne Menuvu tribes, respectively. With the support of the IP SYNERGY IN THE BANGSAMORO – a coming together of various Civil Society Organizations (CSO) – the lobby mission will kick off with ‘Kapihan sa Aristocrat’ in Malate on May 19 at 9:00 am. Among the confirmed attendees in the Kapihan are Senator Grace Poe, Professor Harry Roque, representatives from CENPEG and Cong. Nancy Catamco. Kapihan will be followed by a media briefing on May 20, the time and venue of the event to be announced.

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For more information please contact:

Alim M. Bandara -Timuay Justice and Governance, 0926.986.8488 and 0930.808.1422, timuaygovernance@yahoo.com
Grace Villanueva – Executive Director, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC), 0918.943.6119, grace.villanueva@lrcksk.org
Mabelle Carumba – Minadanao Peoples’ Peace Movement – 0999.872.1405, al_carumba@yahoo.com
Lyndie Prieto – Initiatives for International Dialogue, 0917.724.7579, lyndeeprieto@yahoo.com

Press Release
May 16, 2014

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[Press Release] More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous people’s rights –

More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous people’s rights

NEW YORK / GENEVA (29 October 2013) – States and businesses need to do more to tackle and prevent the violation of indigenous peoples’ human rights as a result of business-related activities, a United Nations independent expert body has said.

Pavel Sulyandziga. Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Pavel Sulyandziga. Photo from en.wikipedia.org

“Indigenous peoples are among the groups most severely affected by the extractive, agro-industrial and energy sectors,” said Pavel Sulyandziga, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.

Mr. Sulyandziga presented yesterday the UN Working Group’s first thematic report*, which explores the challenges faced in addressing the adverse effects of business activities on indigenous peoples’ rights, to the UN General Assembly in New York.

“Negative effects range from indigenous peoples’ right to maintain their chosen traditional way of life, with their distinct cultural identity, to discrimination in employment and in accessing goods and services,” the expert noted.

“There are challenges involving land use and ownership, and also displacement through forced or economic resettlement. Such disruption often leads to serious abuses of civil and political rights, with human rights defenders in particular put at risk,” Mr. Sulyandziga said. “Indigenous peoples are also often excluded from agreements and decision-making processes that irrevocably affect their lives.”

The Working Group’s report highlights how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights can clarify the roles and responsibilities of States, business enterprises and indigenous peoples in addressing these problems.

“We call on States and business enterprises to increase their efforts to implement the Guiding Principles. This includes the State’s duty to protect indigenous peoples against business-related human rights abuses and corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and where abuses have occurred, to ensure people can have effective remedy,” said Mr. Sulyandziga.

The expert urged interested parties to register for the second annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva on 2-4 December 2013.

“It will be an opportunity to discuss challenges in implementing the Guiding Principles, in particular sectors, in operational environments and in relation to specific rights and groups, including indigenous peoples. It will also be a chance to identify good practices and opportunities for dialogue and cooperation toward solutions,” Mr. Sulyandziga said.

(*) Read the report of the Working Group to the General Assembly:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/Reports.aspx

via More action needed to tackle business-related abuse of indigenous people’s rights.

Read more @taomunahindimina.wordpress.com

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[Blog] Visa Rejection: Questions to the Canadian Government By Jose Mario De Vega

Visa Rejection: Questions to the Canadian Government
By Jose Mario De Vega

I am writing with regard to the exchange of messages between Faizi and Nele concerning the fact that our Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Alliance “has taken knowledge of at least two visa rejections by Canadian embassies”. This is a serious matter that demands our attention.

Mario De Vega

Worst, the people whole visa were rejected are confirmed delegates that are accredited to the CBD meetings.

Indeed, “this is not only unfair for the persons involved, this is also against the principles of the Convention, as the participation of indigenous peoples, local communities and civil society in general is crucial to CBD decision making.”

Said Convention is an “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Concerning the Headquarters of the Convention Secretariat (E101442 – CTS 1996 No. 28)”.

The agreement was signed by Robert Fowles for the Government of Canada and Elizabeth Dowdesswell for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on October 25, 1996.

I would like to add and deeply stress that, the act of Canada in rejecting the visa application of this people is not only unjust, but undeniably absurd and utterly preposterous!

The Canadian government specifically violated Article 8 (1) and (2) which specifically and expressly provided that:

Access to the Premises of the Secretariat

The competent Canadian authorities shall not impose any impediments to transit to or from the Premises of the Secretariat of representatives of Parties to the Convention, observers, experts on missions, or other persons invited by the Secretariat thereto on official business.

Visas, where required, for persons referred to in paragraph 1, shall be issued by the Government free of charge and as promptly as possible.

I am wondering what is the ground or the reason behind the rejection of the visa application! It is clear that those delegates were confirmed and checked by CBD, hence what more evidence does the Canadian government need?

The status and background of those individuals are beyond dispute and their business in Canada is clearly spelt out, hence again what are the reasons or the ground relied upon by the authorities in deciding for their visa rejection?

Indeed, CBD state parties are “committed under the CBD to promote the participation of indigenous and local communities, who live as directly dependent on customary use of biodiversity and its regeneration, not having much private monetary resources.”

I share Ville-Veikko’s view that:

“When indigenous representatives would participate to contribute to wider application of their knowledge, innovations and practices of their customary sustainable use of biodiversity, they are required first to prove such private monetary income or property, which fulfills the standards of modern over-consuming life – even if their participation would have been covered by supporting organisations and recommended by the CBD.

“As the participation of indigenous and local communities is crucial for the CBD process, commitments or meetings like WG8J, it is necessary that the costs of their participation can be covered by other facilitating instances or organisations – including CBD Alliance.

“If this is not respected, then:

“How would international community promote wider application of the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities’ sustainable life if it controls such communities’ international access and sharing by such procedures, standards, requirements or privileges of the mainstream, which remain alien to indigenous cultures and discriminate against their less over-consuming sustainable life?”

Our CBD coordinator, Ms. Nele Marien is totally in point when she pointed out that:

“Excluding certain groups from assisting to the meetings, especially those directly involved, would render the CBD less democratic.

“Therefore, the CBD Alliance wishes to formally raise this issue.”

As the CBD Chairperson Faizi said:

“This is indeed a serious issue and a glaring violation of the host country agreement to provide access (i.e. visa) to all bona fide participants. This issue was also raised in the final INC CBD meeting where Kenya, Spain and Canada were competing for the CBD Headquarter, when many of us argued in favour of Kenya for easy access (visa) and low expense, but Canada had its way…argued that visas would be unfaling in coming for bona fide participants.”

Undeniably, Canada has violated the said agreement which has been agreed upon by all relevant parties in good faith.

Second, they also breached the promise that they made: visa would be given to those who are bona fide participants.

Faizi continued that said convention was “legally agreed in the host country agreement (between the government of Canada and the United Nations). I had sent a copy of the agreement to this list some 4-5 years ago when such an issue cropped up”.

I overwhelmingly concur with the Chairperson that:

1. We should take this crucial and important issue with the President of CBD Bureau, ES, and the Canadian CBD focal point and the Canadian foreign ministry.

2. We must also register a firm protestation and strong complaint to the credentials committee of the SBSTTA, 8j meetings.

3. Needless to state, we must promptly issue a public statement to denounce this unjust and unfair act of the Canadian government.

4. Besides all of these actions, we can also bring a civil suit to the local court to demand for justice and/or apology.

Indeed, visa rejection in violation of the host country agreement is a global public issue therefore we all must strongly and firmly condemn this as one, because an unjust act committed to one of our delegate is the same as an unjust act committed to all of us!

We must all act on this in order for this kind of horrible event not to happen again in the future!

Lastly, I agreed with the sharp observation of the Chairperson that:

“This once again reinforces the argument that multilateral events should not be held in countries that a) ask bona fide delegates to prove that they will not stay in that country as illegal emigrant, b) face high security threat so that every visa applicant has to prove that h/she is not a terrorist…
“Indeed there are plenty of countries in the world that are delegate friendly, low cost and having good infrastructure.”

This is a shame to Canada and they have to do the right thing. They have to acknowledge their mistake, apologize to CBD and approve without question those visas that they unjustly and discriminately rejected!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Sanlakas-Philippines

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[From the web] ICMM commits to Free Prior Informed Consent standard -politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org

ICMM commits to Free Prior Informed Consent standard
May 24, 2013, politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org

Emily Greenspan is an extractive industries policy and advocacy advisor with Oxfam America.

oxfam america

Last week the International Council of Metals and Mining (ICMM) released a new mining and indigenous peoples position statement requiring its 22 member companies to integrate Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) into their practices around engagement with indigenous communities. ICMM is an industry association aiming to promote sustainable development in the mining sector. While certain provisions weaken ICMM’s statement, overall ICMM’s commitment to FPIC reflects a gradually turning tide which began to pick up momentum in 2011, when the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced a similar FPIC requirement. Increasingly, companies are recognizing FPIC as a fundamental aspect of human rights due diligence that can help to create shared value for companies and communities and mitigate the risk of social conflict down the road.

ICMM’s commitment to FPIC is an important step, demonstrating that the mining industry is beginning to recognize that the terms of the debate have shifted. No longer should companies be discussing wheth er they need to consult communities, but rather whether and how they can ensure community consent. Indigenous peoples’ organizations (along with Oxfam and others) have worked many years to encourage the industry to embrace FPIC, and ICMM’s commitment will be useful to promote accountability among ICMM members and to encourage more companies to follow ICMM’s lead.

With its new position statement ICMM requires member companies to begin incorporating FPIC into their practices in over 800 project sites around the world, with commitments coming into full effect by May 2015. ICMM describes FPIC as both a process and an outcome and states:

The outcome is that Indigenous Peoples can give or withhold their consent to a project, through a process that strives to be consistent with their traditional decision-making processes while respectin g internationally recognized human rights and is based on good faith negotiation.

Importantly, the statement recognizes that negotiations should be carried out in good faith and that in certain circumstances indigenous peoples may choose to withhold their consent to a project. The statement applies FPIC both to new projects and changes to existing projects likely to have significant impacts on indigenous peoples.

However, some of the FPIC language later in the policy could create confusion for companies. For example, the statement references a 2008 guidance document from the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs which states that “neither Indigenous Peoples nor any other population group have the right to veto development projects that affect them,” so FPIC should be considered a “principle to be respected to the greatest degree possible in development planning and implementation.” ICMM does not elaborate on the di fference between “withholding consent” and “veto.” Nor do they reference more recent guidance from the UN on FPIC which states, “Consent is a freely given decision that may be a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No,’ including the option to reconsider if the proposed activities change or if new information relevant to the proposed activities emerges.”

ICMM generates further ambiguity by stating: “In balancing the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples with the wider population, government might determine that a project should proceed and specify the conditions that should apply. In such circumstances, ICMM members will determine whether they ought to remain involved with a project.” Effective FPIC implementation requires that companies be willing to respect the decision of indigenous communities regarding whether a project should be developed regardless of a government’s interest in pushing ahead.

Finally, ICMM limits the FPIC requirement to projects that impact indigenous peoples. However, community consent is also emerging more broadly as a principle of best practice for sustainable development in any community. Oxfam recognizes that FPIC is a right in international law specifically for indigenous peoples, but also believes that all communities affected by oil and mining projects must be able to participate in effective decision making and negotiation in processes that affect them. When they say “no” to a project, companies and governments need to respect this.

As with all of the new policies I’ve written about in previous blogs (IFC, Peru’s Indigenous Peoples Co nsultation Law, and individual oil and mining company policies), the true test will be in implementation. ICMM’s members must prioritize good faith engagement and respect indigenous peoples’ decisions with regard to oil and mining project development. If policy commitments fail to move beyond mere lip service, rights violations will continue and the risks of violence and social conflict will only increase.

http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2013/05/24/icmm-commits-to-free-prior-informed-consent-standard/

 

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Photo by TFDPsign petiton2 small

[In the news] On Human Rights Day, rights groups slam Aquino government for violations – Bulatlat

On Human Rights Day, rights groups slam Aquino government for violations – Bulatlat.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
December 13, 2012

bulatlatMANILA – “We have likewise set on fire whatever is left of the chances for positive change we gave Pres. Noynoy Aquino in the past two years. He did not only squander the opportunity for change but has also pushed our patience to the limit, with all the rights violations his regime has committed against the people,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan, said.

This was the statement of the Karapatan chairperson as they set fire on the effigy of President Benigno Aquino III.

The seven-foot two-faced effigy, according to Karapatan, “symbolizes the twin evils of large-scale mining and intensified military operations in peasant and indigenous peoples’ communities.”

Under Aquino, there are now 129 victims of extrajudicial killings, where 69 were farmers and 25 indigenous peoples. Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said most victims in Mindanao are anti-mining activists and Lumad leaders who “defend their land and the environment against the intrusion of big foreign mining corporations.”

Read full article @ bulatlat.com

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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

[Press Release] Groups mark IP month with stories of women against mining -ATM

Groups mark IP month with stories of women against mining
Features women’s actions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

Quezon City – Women in various communities around the country have broken their silence on their struggles against mining. Their sacrifices and perseverance are captured in the book, Stories from mines… of struggle, sisterhood and solidarity, released by Alyansa Tigil Mina and LILAK (Purple action for Indigenous Women’s right) in line with the celebration of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Month.

The book contains 50 stories of women describing the adverse impacts of mining in their lives– the loss of their food sources, economic displacement, the violence it causes to their communities, are some of the common experiences. Indigenous women featured in the book also narrated how mining caused division in their tribe and threatens to undermine their customs and practices.
“But this collection of stories is not just about women being victims of mining and the mining companies. What is also being shown here, and celebrated, is the courage of women to speak out, and fight for their communities’ rights, amidst hunger, poverty, and danger,” said Judy A. Pasimio, a women’s rights advocate and coordinator of LILAK.

“This book is a tribute to the rural and indigenous women who keep on the struggle against these powerful mining companies, and to the women advocates from different sector who support them through different ways – as a lawyer, mayor, congresswoman, media, religious and as human rights activists,” Pasimio added.

At the launching in Quezon City Hall yesterday, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM said that the book reflected that the anti-mining campaign in the country is more than just the issue of minerals being extracted in our forest, coastal areas and even rice fields. “We say no to mining for many reasons; mothers and young women in the country are saying that mining had never been good for them or for their families,” Garganera added.

The book contains stories of women in Cagayan Valley campaigning against black sand mining while two mothers in Marinduque recall their bad experiences with the Marcopper mining operation. Women in Sibuyan, Romblon tell their actions against Sibuyan Nickel project and remember the death of an environmental martyr.

The selection of stories from Visayas region cover the strains of mothers over the fish kill in Lake Bito and the more than a decade of resistance to mining of women in Homonhon and Manicani islands in Samar. IP women in Mindanao narrate the intrusion of mining in their ancestral domains. Wilma Tero, a Subanen from Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, said in her article, “Para sa aming mga Subanen, ang mina ay hindi buhay.” (For us Subanens, mining is not life.)

The book launch is also part of the four-day national gathering of indigenous women organized by LILAK.

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)


For more information:
Judy A. Pasimio, LILAK coordinator, judy.lilak@gmail.com, 09175268341
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 09277617602
Edel S. Garingan, Media and Communications Officer, communications@alyansatigilmina.net, 09228918972

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Press Release] Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Justice for Jordan Manda is justice to all Lumads, Amnesty International said in commemoration of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month

Today, in commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Month, Amnesty International Philippines stands by indigenous peoples (IP) leaders and community members in their call for justice to the continuing attacks and killings against indigenous peoples specially in pursuit of their struggle for self determination and in defense of their territories against extractive corporations. Amnesty International members in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Pagadian and Zambonga along with IP leaders from Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur and Agusan del Sur held simultaneous press conferences in their respective areas.

“Pursuit for profits in today’s corporate led globalization has led to greater demand for mineral and other natural resources resulting in global land and resource grabs specially in indigenous peoples territories. This situation has led to indigenous peoples communities, specially their leaders, to heightened advocacy and activism in defense of their land, resources, culture, identity and self-determination. It is in this situation of indigenous peoples resistance and activism where IP leaders and human rights defenders get targeted for harassments, unlawful arrests, enforced disappearances and even killings ” said Ritz Lee Santos III, Chairperson of Amnesty International Philippines at the press conference held in Davao City.

Amnesty International is concerned about the enormous impact of extractive corporations on the rights of indigenous peoples and their communities. Amnesty International also emphasized the Philippine Government’s responsibility to protect IP’s ancestral lands from corporate exploitation and fully enforce domestic regulations and mechanisms for redress against the devastating effect mining activities have on the indigenous peoples, their lands and lives.

“Amnesty International recognizes that indigenous peoples rights have been recognized in international and national laws during the recent years however, widespread violations of IP rights still occur due to continued discrimination, conflicting state policies and programs, and the entry of corporations to ancestral domains” explained Rodolfo Francis Marcial, Amnesty International Philippines Board Member in the press conference in Zamboanga City.

In the Philippines, Amnesty International is witness to continuing harassments, extra-judicial killings and forced disappearance perpetrated against IP human rights defenders in their struggle to protect IP territories from plantations, mining, logging and energy projects of companies whether foreign or local.

“As seen in the cases of the disappearance of James Balao in the Cordillera, the ambush of Timuay Lucenio Manda in the Zamboanga Peninsula which resulted in the death of his son Jordan, and the recent news in Misamis Oriental of the killing of IP organization leader Gilbert Paborado – IP leaders and human rights defenders continue to be targeted for attacks. We call on the Aquino government to protect indigenous peoples leaders and rights defenders at grave risk to attacks and violations, and work to provide justice for all victims of violations of indigenous peoples rights.“ reiterated Romel Cardenas De Vera, Amnesty International Philippine Human Rights Officer at the press conference in Cagayan de Oro City.

“Despite this so called“progress” over the last decade on indigenous peoples rights, we continue to live in hardship and danger due to the failure of the government to protect, promote and uphold ourhuman rights,” added Victoria Cajandig, Amnesty International Philippine Board Member and member of the Subanen Tribe, in the press conference held in Pagadian City.

“P-Noy must direct the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate any cases of EJK, forced disappearance and harassment in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The DILG must work with the Commission on Human Rights Regional Offices to conduct investigations on the reported threats, as well as attempted and actual attacks against IP HR Defenders,” stressed Cajandig.

Amnesty International explains further that indigenous peoples will continue to be uprooted from their lands and territories as a consequence of discriminatory government policies and practices. Social marginalization and legal discrimination place IPs at risk of a wide range of human rights violations.

“It is about time that the Lumad’s struggle for their rights and lands become visible in the eyes of the government and local authorities. The scale and inter-sectional nature of human rights abuses and violations that the IPs experience in the hands of corporations of extractive industries particularly logging and mining companies in Mindanao only further substantiates that in the Philippines, the vulnerable and the marginalized sectors are not prioritized. As the government and the MILF formalize the framework agreement for the Bangsamoro, we, at Amnesty International Philippines, urge that the Lumads’ concerns are included, gearing towards the end to abuses and violations against indigenous peoples land within the Bangsamoro territory,” concluded Santos.

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release
15 October 2012

http://amnesty.org.ph/news.php?item=news&id=276

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[Press Release] IPs, farmers join caravan to call for the passage of a new minerals management bill -SOS Yamang Bayan

IPs, farmers join caravan to call for the passage of a new minerals management bill
Nueva Ecija, Pampanga leg calls for food security to be top priority over mining

Quezon City—Three hundred strong indigenous peoples and farmers from parts of Region 2 joined the caravan that call for a rational mining policy.

Today, the group will stop in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija where farmer leaders will discuss the negative impacts of mining in their agricultural lands and increase their risk to disasters brought by heavy rains in the area. As they reach the last leg of the day in San Fernando, Pampanga, they will converge with the IP contingent from Zambales.

“We have seen in several provinces affected by large scale mining that food security has been put aside,” said Gerry Arances, AMMB Coordinator of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.

He added: “Mining is one of the most water-intensive industries globally. Ad ounce of gold, for example, would need 32,000 liters of fresh water to produce—this water will be polluted and diverted from domestic and agricultural needs of indigenous peoples and farmers.”

The Likas-Yaman Caravan for the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa AMMB) is a 4-day caravan that started from Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya last October 14 and will culminate in Mendiola on the 17th.

IP’s call to action

The Indigenous people from Dupax, Quirino and Didipio, Kasibu of Nueva Vizcaya calls to the government to heed their call against large-scale mining.

Remo Bolhayon of the IP coalition SALAKNIB said: “[that] the government should revoke the FTAA of the OceanaGold Philippines (OGPI), that the government should impose a mining moratorium in Nueva Vizcaya and to pass the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2012).”

Church leaders support the call, action

The caravan is supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the Philippines—National Secretariat for Social Action—Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) and the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, who together with the communities call upon President Benigno Aquino III to immediately repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and prioritize the passage of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2012 a.k.a. AMMB.

CBCP-NASSA executive secretary Fr Edu Gariguez said: “The impacts of mining to farmers, indigenous peoples, the poor in our country—are undeniable. It will be completely unfair if this government will not heed their call to ensure food security first, before prioritizing the continued large scale mining operations in the country.”

That is why the CBCP-NASSA has been asking the government to put a stop to mining first, and enact a rational mining policy, which for us is embodied in the AMMB,” he added.

The Technical Working Group of the Natural Resources Committee of the 15th Congress is now deliberating the AMMB. Said committee is expected to meet on the morning of October 17 to deliberate on and adopt the consolidated minerals management bill—including House Bills 206, 4763, 4315 and several minor mining-related bills.

SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a national, multi-sectoral movement is composed of mining-affected communities, national peoples alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, Congressional representatives, known leaders and personalities advocating for the repealing of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information, contact the SOS-Yamang Bayan Network Secretariat through?
Gerry Arances, 0939.241.5575, gerry.arances@lrcksk.org
Farah Sevilla, 0915.331.3361, policy@alyansatigilmina.net

[Press Release] Bishops, indigenous peoples and bikers join 2nd Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan -ATM

Bishops, indigenous peoples and bikers join 2nd Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan
2-day event culminates in Ati ancestral lands in Boracay

Quezon City—150 bikers joined the 2-days advocacy bile tour to raise awareness on the issues that Philippine indigenous peoples and the environment face now.

The Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan” on its 2nd year started in Calapan City on October 13 and concluded in Barangay Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island in Aklan yesterday.

“As we tirelessly toured communities, we were reminded of our Christian responsibility to journey with our IP sisters and brothers as they defend their lands versus mining and to protect their rights,” said Fr Edu Gariguez—a global environmental awardee and major supporter of Mangyan communities.

Padyak is our symbolic way of being in solidarity with them,” he added.

The theme for this year’s bike tour is “Evangelization and Enculturation.” Evangelization—the absorption of Gospel values, Enculturation—expressing these values in terms that are understandable by the indigenous peoples and respectful of their cultural practices.

Oriental Mindoro face threat to mining, other ecological destructions

“We are against mining because we know that it will destroy our ancestral lands, the environment—for Mangyans—ang lupa ay aming buhay, kung pabayaan naming masira ‘yan, parang pinabayaan na naming maubos ang aming lahi,” Ka Ponyong Kadlos, coordinator of the Kapulungan para sa Lupang Ninuno and representative of the mining-affected Mangyan communities said.

The bike tour was supported by many organizations that support the indigenous peoples struggles and the rights of Mother Earth.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations, and mining affected communities calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill strongly supported this event.

Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM said: “We are one with our IP sisters and brothers and mining-affected communities in calling for respect—for their right to self-determination and to say no to development aggression. Mining being one of them, as we have seen in the past, is extremely destructive, and the government should recognize that and act on the call of the people who want to protect the environment and call for its conservation.”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP) organized the bike tour, in coordination with the Vicariate of Calapan, Mangyan Mission, the Diocese of Kalibo, and the Atis of Boracay Island. (30)

For more information:
Tony Abuso, CBCP-ECIP Coordinator, +632 5274062; 5274155 <ecipns@yahoo.com.ph>
Fr Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary, 0922-8348248 <edugariguez@yahoo.com>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 0927-7617602 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Ka Ponyong Kadlos, KPLN Coordinator, 0929-7116147

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[Event] Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa AMMB (14-17 October 2012)

Likas-Yaman Caravan para sa AMMB (14-17 October 2012)

Indigenous People, farmers call to PNoy: STAND FOR US! AMMB NOW!

We, indigenous people and farmers from different areas in Luzon (from Romblon, Mindoro, Batangas, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Bulacan) have come together to join this caravan to Metro Manila to reiterate our call for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the urgent passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)!

Stop our marginalization: act on our calls

The government has recently announced the forging of peace agreement with the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. While we welcome this positive development, we also seek the openness and resolve of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to engage mining-affected communities—specifically indigenous peoples and farmers—to hear our stories, and act on our calls.

Stop destroying our land, our life! RESPECT OUR RIGHTS!

Mining is a threat to life. Mining explorations and developments in Nueva Vizcaya, Tampakan in South Cotabato, and in other areas across the nation is reinforced by militarization resulting toincreased human rights violations and abuses towards opposing parties—a growing number of anti-mining activists, IP and peasant rights defender were killed in the past years. Meanwhile, this development aggression inarguably affects not only the natural environment but also the livelihood of mining-affected downstream communities, specifically farmers and fisher folks.

Thus, we strongly call for the (1) revocation of the FTAAs of OceanaGold Philippines Inc for the Didipio Gold and Copper Project and SMI/Xstrata for the Tampakan Copper Gold Mining Project, (2) moratorium on all large-scale mining operations in the country and (3) passage of the AMMB!

Stand for us, AMMB NOW!

We call on to President Aquino, his administration, and policy-makers to go beyond EO 79 and the Mining Act of 1995. What our country needs is a new law that will address the issues and concerns that mining-affected communities have long been raising, and the devastation of our rich but fragile ecosystems.

The Alternative Minerals Management Bill (Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2012) seeks to resolve the many problems faced by communities and local government units, and our country in general, due to the gaps and flawed framework embodied in the current Mining Act of 1995, and consequently presents a framework for the rational, needs-based, rights-based, domestic-oriented utilization, development and management of our mineral resources. By supporting AMMB and making it a priority bill, we are making a stand with the people—for mining-affected communities, indigenous peoples, the environment, and for the present and future generations of our country!

***
The SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a national, multi-sectoral movement composed of individual advocates, mining-affected communities, national peoples’ alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, congressional representatives, leaders and personalities advocating for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new minerals management bill.

https://www.facebook.com/LikasYamanCaravan/posts/186741468117474

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[Press Release] Mining-affected communities in Zambales badly hit by Habagat, receive recovery assistance -ATM

Mining-affected communities in Zambales badly hit by Habagat, receive recovery assistance
IP leader, groups highlight link of mining to environmental degradation and natural disaster

Cabangan, Zambales –Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and other civil society groups extended disaster recovery assistance to more than 300 Aeta families in mining affected communities in Cabangan, Zambales after being severely hit by the monsoon rains last month.

Last August 31, ATM with Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights), Koalisyon ng Katutubong Samahan ng Pilipino (KASAPI), Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), HARIBON, Youth for Rights and PREDA Foundation started the relief operation and distributed blankets, mosquito net, mattresses and some other items to the affected families.

Based on the group’s assessment, the monsoon rain had destroyed the training center of the Indigenous community, nursery facilities and several houses while about five farms had been affected by landslides. The river that is also a gateway to the community overflowed and was impassable for more than a week.

ATM also received report from the community that no relief aid was provided to them immediately after the heavy rains.

Meanwhile, the community had noted that they had became more prone to landslide and other threat of climate change since mining and illegal logging had become rampant in their mountains.

“Hindi bago sa amin ang bagyo o ang malakas na pag-ulan, pero dahil sa pagkasira ng aming kagubatan dahil sa pagmimina at illegal logging, nagiging mas malala ang epekto ng masungit na panahon,” said Ka Badong Dimain, Tribal Chieftain of Maporac Aeta Organization. (Typhoons are not new to us, but because of the degradation of our mountain because of mining and illegal logging, the impact of bad weather is getting worst).

Ka Badong also noted that not only the farmers are affected by the landslide but also the fishermen who had hard times for their catch since mud and rocks form the mountain also muddles with their river.

“This community had been fighting to end mining and other threats to their ancestral domain because they knew already that things like this can happen,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM. “but the government had remained silent on their call.”

“This case is just one reason why we are calling for a moratorium on mining in the whole country. Unless we have assessed our communities’ susceptibility to natural disasters and have installed measures to address the impact of climate change and have trained our people on how to deal with the situation, then we can move forward,” Garganera added.

ATM and its partner organization also distributed food items to the community and will provide housing repair assistance to the affected families in the coming days.

During the relief operation, Aeta children in the community also received psychosocial intervention with a puppet show from PREDA Foundation, a local NGO operating in Olongapo City while IP women were orientated on Women’s rights.

Christian Aid in the Philippines mobilized resources for the relief and early recovery activities in the area.

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)

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, 09277617602
Danny Arias, ATM Sites of Struggle Officer, sos2@alyansatigilmina.net, 09185223147
Edel S. Garingan, Media and Communications Officer, communications@alyansatigilmina.net, 09228918972

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[Appeal/Petition] An urgent call for an immediate investigation on the ambush of TIMUAY LUCENIO and JORDAN MANDA

Chair Loreta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Chair Brigida Zenaida Hamada
National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP)

Undesercretary Severo Catura
Presidential Human Rights Committee

AN URGENT CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION ON THE AMBUSH OF TIMUAY LUCENIO AND JORDAN MANDA

Last September 5, at 7:20 am, Timuay Lucenio Manda, a Subanen leader, was riding his motorbike with his 11-year old son, Jordan, to bring him to school, when a group of masked men fired at them. Jordan was hit at the back, killing him instantly. Timuay Lucenio survived the ambush wounded, both physically and emotionally. Jordan was his eldest son, actively involved in their Subanen community in the Municipality of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. He was being groomed to follow the leadership of his father.

The ambush happened on the road between Barangays Conacon and Bubuan of the Municipality of Bayog. Timuay Manda is the Barangay Chair of Barangay Conacon. The ambush site was 5 kilometers away from their residence in Conacon.

Timuay Manda is a strong defender of Subanen rights to their land and right to self-determination.

Timuay Manda has been leading his tribe in claiming and protecting their ancestral domain in the last 10 years after his cousin Timuay Giovanni Umbang was assassinated in 2002. Both Timuay Giovanni and Timuay Manda questioned the entry of logging and mining in their ancestral domain without their Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as required under national and international laws. Timuay Manda has been receiving threats of his life in the last three years.
Early in August, Timuay Manda led a group of Timuays from Bayog and neighboring ancestral domains in calling for a moratorium of all forms of mining in their ancestral domains until they could have their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) of their domains. Such effort was supported by the local office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Timuay Manda is also leading an effort to strengthen and unify the efforts of the Subanens in the Central Zamboanga Peninsula to claim and protect their remaining contiguous ancestral domain. He, along with Catholic Bishops and concerned groups, is one of the petitioners for the Writ of Kalikasan in protection of the Pinukis Range Forest, among the last untouched forest region in the Zamboanga Peninsula which is unfortunately included in the mining claims of several companies. Mt. Pinukis is considered by the Subanen people of Zamboanga Peninsula as among their Sacred Mountains. The Pinukis Range Forest serves as watershed of three major rice-growing regions in the Peninsula that produces about 30 percent of the rice in the region.
Jason Manda was in Grade 6, a candidate for valedictorian in his batch. As his father is busy with his responsibilities as Timuay, Jordan was the main help of his mother, Delma, in tending to their animals and rice farm, for food.

The killing of Jordan is such a big loss to the family, and to the community.

The killing of Jordan is a mindless, senseless act of violence.

The attempt to kill Timuay Manda is an attempt to silence a staunch defender of ancestral domain against the encroachment of logging and mining operations.

We urge the government to seriously look into this act of violence against Jordan Manda and Timuay Manda. Specifically we urge the Commission on Human Rights, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Presidential Human Rights Committee to conduct an immediate, serious, and thorough investigation on this; and to exert serious effort in ensuring that the perpetrators are put to justice.

Sept. 7, 2012
PETITIONERS:

Judy a. pasimio (LILAK/Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights)
Deniza Ismael (LILAK/Purple Action for Indigenous Women Rights)
Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), Chiangmai, Thailand
Tony Abuso (ECIP- National Secretariat)

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[Statement] KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist strongly opposes the privatization of 26 public hospitals in the country

KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist strongly opposes the privatization of 26 public hospitals in the country

The privatization of public hospitals deprives the marginalized sectors especially indigenous peoples from receiving quality and free health services. Indigenous peoples not only in the Cordillera Region are in fact already deprived of basic health services. There are no community health centers in most of indigenous communities. If there are, either it lack medicines but without regular doctor or health personnel.

While there is an absence of disaggregated data on indigenous peoples – both public and private surveys indicate that IPs have the highest infant mortality rate, maternal death rate and malnutrition, that can be attributed to lack of medical services. Indigenous people are usually deprived of basic needs and necessities in life especially in health care. In fact majority of them suffer from different diseases and die without having seen a health care provider.

The absence of doctors or medical personnel force them to travel to the cities and towns far from their communities, where public hospitals are found in order to attain medical attention. In some cases, patients die upon reaching medical attention in hospitals.

Furthermore, there is also a high percentage of indigenous people who are not members of PhilHealth, in which they have difficulty in receiving proper medications and paying hospital bills. Other restraints faced by Indigenous people are the payment policies imposed by government hospitals in admitting patients. With the high number of indigenous people who are impoverished and jobless, their financial ordeal would be at the greatest just to cope with their patients medication. Discrimination against Indigenous pople also aggrevates this situation.

The lack or absence of health services is worsened by militarization and vilification of indigenous communities. There is a widespread fear of indigenous communities from being branded as terrorist groups.

In some cases, indigenous people who can not afford proper medical attention rely on the medicines that are available which maybe inappropriate medications to their illness. Others still rely on traditional herbal medicines which sometimes are insufficient or cause more dire complications to their illness.

Privatization and transforming public hospitals into corporations does not answer the growing need of a quality and free health services in the country. Privatization is not the answer. We urge the government should increase the budget in health services and decrease budget for military counter-insurgency. The government should prioritize health services to far-flung communities where it is most needed.

SAMUEL ANONGOS
Sposkeperson – Coordinator
KATRIBU – Cordillera

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[People] Indigenous Women on SONA 2012 by Judy A. Pasimio

Indigenous Women on SONA 2012

NOTE from Judy A. Pasimio,
LILAK (Purple Action for IP Women’s Rights)

Judy Pasimio. File photo source: allvoices.com

These are words and reactions from the indigenous women who listened and watched Pnoy deliver his SONA. For one and half hours, they waited for Pnoy to say something about his program for the indigenous people, or something that will indicate that they are part of his development plan, his vision, his dreams for the Filipino people.

Once again, President Noynoy Aquino failed the indigenous women. The non-mention of the plight of the IPs – karaniwan na po ito. The glossing over the fact that the government’s anti-poverty program do not reach the real poorest of the poor, which includes the IPs, especially the IP women – karaniwan na po ito. The non-inclusion of the human rights violations happening within the country, which are experienced by the IPs and the rural poor – karaniwan na po ito. The fact that under his administrations there are already 50 killings, including IP leaders struggling against powerful industries, is ignored, as he declared that criminality has gone down – karaniwan na po ito.

And so if the IP women are deeply disappointed, more frustrated, and angrier – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

If the IP women have lost trust in you, and in your government – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

But as they have said, they will continue to strengthen and organize themselves, as they defend their land, and their rights; and we will continue to support them, as the real changes will come from the people. Sila, Kami, ang gagawa nito.

—-

Sabi ni Pnoy “Kung may inaagrabyado’t ninanakawan ng karapatan, siya ang kakampihan ko. Kung may abusado’t mapang-api, siya ang lalabanan ko. Kung may makita akong mali sa sistema, tungkulin kong itama ito.”

– Masarap pakinggan, pero arang may mali, dahil karamihan sa aming mga katutubo ay matagal nang inaagrabyado at niyuyurakan ang aming mga karapatan – Karapatan na mamuhay na mapayapa at matiwasay sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno; na uminom at maligo sa malinis na tubig; na makalanghap ng malinis na hangin at ipagpatuloy ang aming cultural belief and practices. Lahat ng mga karapatang ito ay nilabag, tinapakan at ninakaw na sa amin ng mga mining companies. Nasaan ka mahal na Pangulong Pinoy bakit hindi mo kami kinampihan at hindi mo nilabanan ang mga minero na siyang sumisira sa mga buhay naming katutubo?

Sabi ni Pnoy, di nya kaya ang “Forgive and forget”. Kami din – Forgive and forget na lang ba para sa aming mga katutubo ang grabeng human rights violations na nangyari dahil sa pagmimina, na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nabibigyan ng hustisya? Di rin pwede sa amin ang Forgive and forget ang mga ninakaw at sinira ng mga mining companies na aming kaisa-isang source ng aming pang araw-araw na pangkabuhayan at siyang puso ng aming spiritual belief.

Sabi ni Pnoy, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Sabi namin, Kung walang mining sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno, walang mga katutubo na lalong naghihirap.

Pnoy said, “Where a citizen is oppressed, he will find me as an ally; where there is an oppressor, I will be there to fight; where I find something wrong in the system, I will consider it my duty to right it. Something seems to be wrong, because majority of us Indigenous Peoples have been disadvantaged and our rights have been trampled upon – our right to live peacefully within our ancestral domain; to drink and bathe in clean waters; to breathe clean air; to continue practicing our cultural beliefs. All of these rights have been violated, trampled upon by the mining companies. Where is our dear president, why are you not on our side, and why are you not fighting against the mining companies who ruin the lives of indigenous peoples?

Pnoy said that to Forgive and forget is unacceptable. And so it is with us – it will not be forgive and forget for us IPs the grave human rights violations committed against us because of mining, to which until now justice has not been served. It cannot be just forgive and forget for the mining companies who have taken from us and destroyed our source of livelihood and the heart of our spiritual belief.

Pnoy said “If there is no corruption, there is no poverty.” We say – if there is no mining within our ancestral domain, there is no indigenous community who is made poorer. – Wilma Tenoro, Subanen, Midsalip, Zamboanga

“Bakit kaya ang hirap hirap banggitin ang mga salitang Indigenous Peoples pagdating sa SONA? Hindi ba kami tinuturing na kasama sa mga Juan at Juana dela Cruz na kinakausap nya? Kawawa naman kami. Lagi na lang absent sa kanyang mga plano at pangarap sa bansa. Kailangang palakasin pa ang sigaw, at ang aming pwersa. Maski NCIP, hindi naming maasahan na ilagay kami sa isipan ng Pangulo.”

Why is it difficult to utter the words ‘indigenous peoples’ during SONA? Are we not considered part of the Juan and Juana dela Cruz that Pnoy talks to? We are pitiful. We are always absent in his plans and vision for the country. We really need to make our voices louder, and our force stronger. We cannot even depend on NCIP to place us in the consciousness of the President.” – Judith Menares, Ibaloi, Baguio City

“Ayon kay PNOY, Nasabat ng barko natin at nasabad sa kanilang mga barko ang endangered species. Buti pa ang endangered species, nabanggit. Kaming mga indigenous peoples, na maari nang maging endangered, ay di man lang nabanggit. . . Ang hina naman ng NCIP, at hindi man lang kami nasama sa SONA.”

Pnoy reported – Our patrol boats intercepted some of their ships, which contain endangered species. The endangered species are in a better position than us, as the President made special mention of them, while us, indigenous peoples, who are soon to be endangered, have not been mentioned at all. . . NCIP proved to be weak, as it was not able to register the IP issues in the SONA.”- Bae Rose Undag, Higaonon, Misamis Oriental

“Pnoy pahirap sa mga katutubo. Ang totoong boss nya ay ang mga mayayaman na bansa, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy at mga multinational companies. Talamak ang di pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga katutubo sa aming lupaing ninuno. Lalong malupit dahil sa EO79 na talagang ibibigay sa MMCs ang mga lupain. Dahil dito lalong lumala ang HRVs sa mga komunidad. Massive displacement. Pinapatupad ang oplan bayanihan sa kanayunan at pagkakahati sa mga IPs.

Sinabi nyang naahon sa hirap ang mga mamamayan. May milyong-milyong piso para sa 4Ps subalit hindi angkop sa totoong kalagayan ng mga katutubo. Ang solusyon ay pagkakaisa ng mga katutubo sa buong bansa pag iralin ang pagtaguyod tungo sa sariling pagpapasya. At i-expose ang programa ni pinoy na kontra mamamayang katutubo.”

PNOY – burden to the indigenous peoples. His real bosses are rich countries, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy and multinational companies. Human rights violations against indigenous peoples are still rampant. EO79 is worse, blatantly giving away our lands to multinational mining companies. And this is why HRVs are worsened in our communities. Massive displacement. Oplan Bayanihan is implemented in our communities and this has caused division among us.

Pnoy said that Filipino people have been lifted from poverty. But this is misleading. Millions of pesos have been allocated for the 4Ps but this program is not applicable to the real situation of the indigenous peoples. The solution is the unity of all indigenous peoples within our country and assert our right to self-determination, and expose the programs of Pnoy as anti-indigenous peoples. – Norma Capuyan, Manobo, Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC)

“Malaki ang pag-asa ko habang nanonood ako ng SONA ni pnoy na baka ngyaon mabanggit man lang kaming mga katutubo subalit hanggang sa matapos ang SONA di man lang kami nabanggit kaya nanlumo ako at nalungkot. Talagang wala kaming puwang na mga katutubo kay pnoy samantalang isa kami sa mga naglukluk sa kanya sa pwesto. Kailangan na uli magwangwang kaming mga katutubo upang sa susunod na sona ay mapasali man lang. mga d armas ang kanyang mga pinangangaralangan kaming mga nanahiimik at payapang namumuhay di man lang naisali sa sona.”

I was really hoping while watching SONA of Pnoy that this time, we will be mentioned, but until the very end, no mention of the indigenous peoples. We really do not have a space in Pnoy, even if we were part of those who put him in his position now. We really need to use wang-wang again, so that in the next SONA, we will be part of it. He honored the men in arms, but did not even mention us who try to live in peace in our communities. – Conchita Bigong, Alangan-Mangyan, Mindoro Oriental

“Frustration. Wala kaming naramdaman na impact ng mga anti-poverty reduction program sa nai-report nya dito sa aming barangay o munisipyo. At kahit sa programa nya na LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) na dapat daw bida ang basic sectors, kung saan isa sa mga basic sectors ang IP. At baka hindi alam ni Pnoy na may ng exist na IP kaya hindi kasama sa mga usapin, at hindi mabanggit.

Frustration. We do not feel the impact of his report on anti-poverty reduction program here at the barangay or municipal level. Even the LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) which should benefit the basic sectors, which includes the indigenous peoples. Maybe Pnoy is not aware that indigenous peoples exist, and that is why we are not involved, and have not been mentioned. – Zenaida P. Mansiliohan, Talaandig, KALALAGAN, Brgy. Dona Flavia, San Luis, Agusan del Sur

Pakiramdam ko nabale wala na naman nya ang katutubo. Pakiramdam ko nagalit talaga ako sa nangyayari, parang hindi kami Pilipino, hindi tao para kay pinoy. Sa lahat ng kanyang sinabi sa mining hindi yan. Hindi ang klase ng mining, tulad ng sa SMI (Xstrata), ang makakatulong sa mga tao, at lalong hindi sa aming mga katutubo. At sa 4Ps ng gobyerno, sabi nya ang mga pinakamahirap ay naabot nito. Isa kami sa mga pinakamahirap, pero di naman kami nakaka-avail ng programa – kapitan lang at tribal chieftain. Kaming mga pinaka wala, di naman maka-avail.

Noon pa bale wala na ang katutubo sa gobyerno. Kaya’t nasa amin talaga na mga katutubo na labanan ang mina sa aming komunidad, at kami na rin talaga ang mag aahon sa amin sa kahirapan.

I felt that indigenous peoples were again ignored. I really felt mad with what’s happening, it’s as if we are not Filipinos, not even people, for Pnoy. Everything that he said about mining is not true. It is not the kind of mining, especially that of SMI (Xstrata), that will help people, especially us indigenous people. As for the 4Ps program of the government, he said that it has reached the poorest of the poor. We are the poorest of the poor but we have not been able to avail of this – except for our barangay captain, and our tribal chieftain. For us who have nothing, could not avail.

For the longest time, the government has not paid any attention to us indigenous peoples. It is really up to us, indigenous peoples, who should work hard to fight mining in our communities, and to uplift ourselves from poverty. – Robina Poblador, B’laan, Saranggani Province

Contact:
judy.pasimio@gmail.com / 09175268341

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[Press Release] Bishops, legislators join forces to advance new mining bill – SOS-Yamang Bayan

Bishops, legislators join forces to advance new mining bill
A match ‘Made-in-Heaven’ against open-pit mining

Manila – The proposed Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) being pushed by multi-sectoral movement SOS-Yamang Bayan Network will now have a better chance to enactment in the House of Representatives with the backing of the combined forces of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and a number of lawmakers in the country.

Last night, about fifty bishops and two congressmen representing the support of other forty solons from the lower house discussed in a national forum in the Plenary Hall of Pope Pius Catholic Center in UN Avenue, Manila, the strategies they will employ to ensure that AMMB will be passed as the Philippine Minerals Resources Act of 2012.

“We cannot deny how mining has negatively affected the situation of the poor in our country; the farmers, fisher folks, Indigenous People; everyday we are confronted with the reality that it has to be changed,” said CBCP-NASSA National Director, Bp. Broderick Pabillo. “While we are still not sure about the status of the executive order on mining, that policy will only provide short-term resolution to our situation. What we need is a rationalize policy that will have sustainable and positive impact to generations ahead.”

AMMB is now being deliberated by the Technical Working Group of the Natural Resources (NatRes) Committee of the 15th Congress. The AMMB is a consolidated version of House Bills 206, 3763, 4315 and several mining-related minor bills in the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 3126 was also filed in the Senate last February 15, 2012 by Senator Sergio Osmeña III, the AMMB’s senate version.

According to Cong. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Vice-chairperson of the NatRes Committee, and Chairperson of the Committee on National Cultural Communities or IPs, the proposed mining bill is still being refined but its call for fair revenue sharing, environmental protection and safeguard of human rights including Indigenous People’s rights, will always be the foundation of the revised policy. Cong. Baguilat also noted that more than 50% of the current mining areas in the country straddle on ancestral land domain of the IP communities.

“This bill is about the people, for the people and by the people. We really need more support for this. We are thankful that CBCP is with us in this advocacy,” Baguilat added.

Meanwhile, SOS-Yamang Bayan Network lauds the development in the campaign for the new mining bill and called the partnership together with the thousand strong forces in the mining affected communities as a match “made-in-heaven” against open pit mining.

“This is a positive development towards reorganizing and reorienting the country’s mineral industry. We are happy to see these two strong forces in our society work together and agree on one cause. This only shows the scale of problems caused by mining that almost everybody is alarmed and calling for an urgent resolution,” said Gerry Arances, AMMB Coordinator of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC-KsK). LRC is the lead convener of SOS-Yamang Bayan Network.

At the same time, Alyansa Tigil Mina National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera said that the forum would ensure that all the people who works for and supports the bill, understand its call and conditions. “Our purpose is to encourage more groups and individuals to pressure the government and concede that the Mining Act of 1995 was a big failure and should be repealed, immediately.”

The SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a national, multi-sectoral movement composed of individual advocates, mining-affected communities, national peoples’ alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, Congressional representatives, leaders and personalities advocating for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new minerals management bill. (30)

___
For more information, contact the SOS-Yamang Bayan Network Secretariat:
Gerry Arances – gerry.arances@lrcksk.org; 0922-8307758
Farah Sevilla – policy@alyansatigilmina.net; 0915-3313361
Edel S. Garingan – communications@alyansatigilmina.net; 0922-8918972

SOS-Yamang Bayan Network – Press Release
July 6, 2012

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[In the news] Palace nixes calls for suspending mining rules -GMA News

Palace nixes calls for suspending mining rules.

May 21, 2012

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Monday announced that the Palace rejected the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines’ request to suspend the revised guidelines on Free and Prior Informed Consent as modified by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NICP).

Lacierda said that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. had met with the NCIP, to discuss the letter sent by the mines chamber. It was decided not to suspend or further change the revised FPIC guidelines.

According to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997,  the Free and Prior Informed Consent guidelines are “the consensus of all members of the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples to be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation, interference and coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of the activity, in a language an process understandable to the community.”

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[Petition] Investigate the killing of Datu Jimmy Liguyon; End summary killings and fear tactics against indigenous leaders and communities

On March 5, indigenous chieftain and Dao village captain, Datu Jimmy Liguyon of San Fernando, Bukidnon was shot dead by members of the New Indigenous Peoples’ Army (NIPAR). A NIPAR leader then threatened the witnesses that anyone who went against their group would meet a similar fate and made it clear to the witnesses that he had killed Liguyon because of his opposition to plans which would lead to extensive mines in their traditional territory.

This is not the only case of extrajudicial killing of an indigenous leader in the Philippines. Paramilitary groups are terrorizing remote communities of indigenous peoples with regular use of threats, violence and killing against the communities. Through Executive Order 546, the government has legitimized them as support forces for ‘peace and order’ that augment the Philippine Army, officially in pursuing armed rebel groups. However, as human rights groups have pointed out after monitoring them for years, these groups have a long history of human rights violations that always go unpunished, creating a culture of impunity and ‘might is right’ in the country’s rural areas.

These forces are being used to defend investments such as mining, agro-industrial plantations and other development aggression. Those most affected are indigenous communities trying to protect their ancestral domains from destruction. However, these oppositions to development aggression are being portrayed as insurgents warranting militarization, further violating indigenous peoples’ rights.

Please sign on this petition to join with the indigenous communities to demand justice for the killing of Jimmy Liguyon and other indigenous leaders, end the terror tactics of paramilitary forces, and ensure safety of all human rights defenders in the Philippines.

This online petition has been initiated by Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

Please sign petition here http://www.change.org/petitions/philippines-investigate-the-killing-of-datu-jimmy-liguyon-end-summary-killings-and-fear-tactics-against-indigenous-leaders-and-communities#

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[In the news] Indigenous people remember Macliing Dulag’s martyrdom -GMA News

Indigenous people remember Macliing Dulag’s martyrdom.

JERRIE M. ABELLA, GMANEWS.TV
April 24, 2010

Through a night of songs, tribal dances and poetry, members of indigenous people’s groups and cultural organizations commemorated on Friday the 30th death anniversary of Ama Macliing Dulag, a Kalinga tribal leader and martyr during the Marcos era.

The groups lit torches and offered flowers at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, where Macliing’s name is etched along with hundreds of other heroes and maryrs who fought martial law, and whose heroism have become part of the country’s history.

Dulag was a respected pangat (tribal chieftain) of the Butbut tribe in Kalinga province, who helped unify tribes in the northern Cordillera to resist the Chico Dam project in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The project consisted of four large dams to be constructed along Chico river, one of the major river systems in the Cordillera.

The project, considered a top priority by then President Ferdinand Marcos and funded by the World Bank, was opposed by indigenous communities in the provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontoc (Mountain Province).

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