Tag Archives: LILAK

[Statement] OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK

#HumanRights #IndigenousPeoples

OPLAN TOKHANG against “left-leaning” personalities – a Cordillera variant of EJK | LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) Statement

Poster by LILAK

At the beginning of the Oplan Tokhang in Duterte’s War on Drugs, LILAK along with the human rights community, have already feared that this same violent strategy will be extended to activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. Unfortunately, our fears have been proven right.

More than 27,000 people were killed in this Oplan Tokhang. Nanlaban daw. Now, with the Resolution issued by the Police Regional Office in Cordillera (RLECC-CAR Res 04 s2021), enjoining the members of law enforcement agencies to ‘conduct TOKHANG to known left-leaning personalities in the government, media and other entities” – we fear that the same acts of violence, and impunity, will be committed, as Oplan Tokhang is most notorious for. With red-tagging done in the most irresponsible way by the National Task Force ELCAC, the fear of “nanlaban” as a justification of killings of so-called “left-leaning” entities is very real.

As it is, even without this new variant of Oplan Tokhang, indigenous peoples have been suffering deaths, arrests, and torture from the government. The country has been notorious for having the most number of killings of land rights and indigenous leaders, in the whole world. Recently, we have seen the trumped up charges against Windel Bolinget, chair of Cordillera Peoples Alliance, with a shoot to kill order “’pag nanlaban”. The 9 Tumandok leaders in Panay were killed with police claiming they were resisting arrest. The Tumandok leaders were allegedly members of the New Peoples Army. Two Aeta leaders have been arrested and filed charges of “terrorism’, as they were fleeing from their community, during a cross-fire between the military and members of NPA.

LILAK calls for a serious review and withdrawal of this resolution by the Cordillera government. We are already witnessing so much deaths and violence from the Duterte administration.

Stop the Killings!
Break the impunity.

IPLivesMatter #ScrapTerrorLaw #DefundNTFELCAC

Contact:
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
judy a. pasimio – 09175268341

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[Statement] A punishment for those who dare to tell the truth -LILAK

A punishment for those who dare to tell the truth
– LILAK Statement on Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos’ Cyber Libel Conviction

LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) condemns the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher and writer Reynaldo Santos for cyber libel. The case made against Ressa and Santos is an obvious weaponization of the law to silence dissent and sow fear in the free press. The conviction is a punishment for those who dare to tell the truth.

Civil society organizations and indigenous peoples work closely with the media in shedding light on human rights violations perpetrated by corporations and the government. Media has been our partner in seeking justice. Rappler has helped us spread stories from indigenous communities to a wider audience.

Ressa and Santos’ conviction, the shutdown of ABS-CBN, and the railroading of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 are orchestrated attacks on dissenters and human rights defenders. These assaults benefit from the pandemic, a crisis the government continues to ignore while it strengthens the pillars of its dictatorship.

Indigenous peoples have long fought for the protection of natural resources and our environment from extractive industries such as mining. Wilfredo Keng is CEO of Century Peak Metals Holdings Corp (CPM), one of the mining companies recommended for suspension by former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez for environmental violations. However, in 2017, CPC passed DENR’s mining audit under current Sec. Roy Cimatu. Reports also show that Keng has significant ties with the Duterte administration. His daughter, Patricia Keng, was appointed member of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) by Duterte in 2019.

It is not the first time that the Duterte administration has favored Chinese corporations over indigenous peoples. It has not been a year since he announced that he will use his “extraordinary powers” as president to pursue China-backed Kaliwa Dam, one of his ‘Build Build Build’ projects which will displace thousands of indigenous peoples and destroy hectares of ancestral lands.

The country is enveloped in fear as the space for dissent narrows and darkens. Indigenous women leaders who defend their rights on the ground carry an even greater fear. If politicians such as Leila de Lima and journalists such as Maria Ressa are imprisoned from speaking up, how will they, who live in far-flung communities with no access to technology and whose names are not known, survive this tyrannical government?

In 2019, the Philippines has been named the most dangerous place for land rights defenders. Indigenous leaders were among those killed.

For indigenous women, fear is overwhelming. Yet there is no choice for them but to carry on.

LILAK, an organization of feminists and women human rights activists and a member of In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), stands in solidarity with Rappler, journalists, and the free press. In a time when our voices are repressed, we must find in ourselves the courage to speak and lend our voices to others. We must hold the line – to press freedom, to right to speak against injustice, to live without fear, and to fight a dictator.

#HoldTheLine #IStandWithMariaRessa #DefendPressFreedom #ScrapTerrorBill #ResistDictatorship

Illustration by Shar Balagtas

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[Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power -Forum-Asia

Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

(Bangkok, 2 June 2020) – The railroading of the Anti-Terrorism Bill in the Philippines will further erode human rights in the country, rights groups said today.

The Asian Forum of Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member organisations Balaod Mindanaw, Dakila, Karapatan, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) warned that the proposed law would lead to a crackdown on civic space and fundamental freedoms.

‘We have seen the systematic intimidation of civil society, from human rights organisations to journalists and the general public under the Duterte regime. The Anti-Terrorism Bill would institutionalise and facilitate abuse of power, leading the weaponisation of the law against its people,’ the groups said.

On 1 June, President Rodrigo Duterte certified House Bill 6875 or the Anti-Terrorism Bill as urgent, which would allow the House of Representatives to fast-track its approval.[1] The bill is expected to be passed before Congress adjourns on 5 June. The House of Representatives had earlier adopted the Senate version of the bill, approved in February 2020, to facilitate its passage into law.

The proposed anti-terror law contains provisions that effectively erode civil liberties and remove necessary checks in power. Vague language in the bill, including on the definition of terrorism which includes acts committed ‘regardless of the stage of execution’ would allow for broad interpretation and overreach.[2]

The bill allows for a lengthened period of warrantless detention, and surveillance that goes beyond stipulations in existing national security legislation. It would lead to the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Council, comprised of State officials, which would have the power to authorise the arrest and detention of a person suspected of being a terrorist – a power reserved for the Courts.

Under Duterte’s administration, repressive laws and policies have been used as tools of intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and critics. Executive Order No. 70, adopted in 2018, led to the consolidation of the country’s agencies towards a whole-of-nation approach against national insurgency. This policy was used to justify surveillance activities and raids against organisations accused of being communist fronts.[3]

Citing ‘national security’, State officials have regularly released lists tagging human rights defenders, including United Nations Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, as terrorists. FORUM-ASIA’s members Karapatan, PAHRA, and TFDP have also been labeled as terrorists for speaking out against human rights violations in the country. These accusations threaten their security and compromise the ability to conduct their work.

The administration has used existing legislation, including on cyber-libel and sedition to target critics, while pushing for new laws that dismantle Constitutional guarantees and stifle dissent. The recently introduced Bayanihan to Heal as One Act included a ‘fake news’ provision which has been used to arrest individuals posting online criticism of the government’s response to the pandemic.

‘Fast-tracking the Anti-Terrorism Bill at a time when the country is grappling with the effects of a public health emergency demonstrates a complete disregard for any trust the public has placed in its Government. Members of the Philippine Congress should take a strong stand against this bill and demonstrate that they are capable of upholding democracy and not just the wishes of their President,’ urged the rights groups.

[Joint Statement] Philippines: Proposed Anti-Terrorism Law will solidify abuse of State power

About FORUM-ASIA:

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu. http://www.forum-asia.org
For further information, please contact:
East Asia and ASEAN Programme, FORUM-ASIA at ea-asean@forum-asia.org

For media inquiries, please contact:
Yi-Lan, Communication and Media Programme, FORUM-ASIA at communication@forum-asia.org

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[Statement] LOCKDOWN VIOLENCE: Mining company disperses people’s barricade in Didipio, injure indigenous women and arrest leader -LILAK

Quezon City – While the entire Luzon has been put under enhanced community lockdown due to COVID-19, a hundred police personnel violently dispersed a people’s barricade in Didipio.

Three diesel tankers from OceanaGold Philippines Inc (OGPI) forcibly and illegally entered the premises of Brgy. Didipio in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. The tankers were escorted by more than a hundred police personnel from Quirino that violently dispersed the people’s barricade. According to testimonies on the ground, they were pushed to the side by police shields, tackled to the ground and handcuffed by the police.

Several members of DESAMA, SAPAKKMI, and AMKKAS were reportedly injured by the dispersal. Bileg Dagiti Babbae composed of Tuwali women led the barricade and were injured by the encounter. The women sat on the ground to stop the tankers but were forcibly carried by the police and handcuffed. A young Tuwali woman’s shoulder was injured when police stepped on it. Tuwali leader Myrna Duyan found her foot bleeding after it was struck by a police shield.

In a live Facebook video posted by Julie Simongo, the Tuwali women were heard screaming from blocking the entry of the tankers and police.

DESAMA Chairman Rolando Pulido received the most injuries. Pulled from under the tanker, Pulido has stripped off his clothes and handcuffed. His body was beaten by sticks, and his mouth was found bleeding. Pulido was then brought to a police precinct in Kasibu. According to members of DESAMA, he will be charged with abuse of order and will only be allowed to post bail the following day.

“Parang baboy ang ginawa nila sa chairman namin,” cried the Tuwali women [They treated him like a pig]. Almost naked, Chair Pulido was forcibly carried with 4 policemen holding his arms and legs.

The violent dispersal not only left physical injuries but also trauma to the women and the community. When a young Tuwali woman was asked about her wounds she said, “Ang sugat sa katawan magagamot pero ang ginawa nila ay hindi basta-basta mawawala sa aming isipan” [The wounds on our body will heal but what that they did to us will remain in our memory for a long time].

“Ito ay malinaw na paglabag sa batas,” said Duyan [This is a clear violation of the law]. “Expired na ang FTAA ng OceanaGold kaya hindi na sila dapat pa nagmimina sa aming lugar” [Their FTAA has expired and so they should no longer be operating in our lands]. OGPI’s Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) expired on June 20, 2019. Groups such as Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) have called for non-renewal of the mining company’s FTAA based on the violations of their human and environmental rights.

Duyan also said that the forced entry and dispersal were violations of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Barangay Didipio was on lockdown, as the entire Luzon island. The people’s barricade that was put up several months ago to prevent re-entry of OGPI served as COVID-19 checkpoint where members of Bileg Dagiti Babbae were volunteering their assistance. According to Duyan, OGPI dismissed COVID-19 lockdown protocols on top of the law that they have already violated.

Human rights groups such as LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) were enraged by the actions of OGPI and the Quirino PNP. “We are in the middle of a health crisis. With the lockdown, the people of Didipio are worried about food security and the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19. OceanaGold, with its greed, took advantage of this lockdown to violently force its way through. They know that it would be difficult for the community to seek support outside their communities. How cruel is that?” says Judy Pasimio of LILAK. “But even more cruel is this Duterte government, which lends its police force, at this time of crisis, to serve the interest of the corporate, and deliberately inflict harm on its people, especially at the time that they are most vulnerable.”

ATM also condemned the violent dispersal of the PNP. In a statement released on their website, the group said, “The use of violence by the police today is a reflection of the blind and draconian measures that this government is willing to use to pursue the greedy interests of the mining industry.”

For more information contact:
judy afan pasimio – 09175268341 | judy104@lilak.net
Shar Balagtas – 09771966122 | sharbalagtas.lilak@gmail.com

April 6, 2020

 

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[Press Release] Indigenous women ask: where is the government for us? -LILAK

“We fear to die from starvation more than the virus itself,” said Librada Isidro, a Mangyan leader from Oriental Mindoro.

Indigenous women from Nueva Vizcaya, Saranggani, Palawan, Oriental Mindoro, Zambales and Quezon call for help as the community quarantine or lockdown ordered by the national and local governments bring food crisis among indigenous and rural communities.

No case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in these provinces, but indigenous women leaders are concerned government policies, particularly the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and lockdowns in other provinces in Visayas and Mindanao, endanger food security.

“The dry season came early for us. The heat was too much; our rice, pineapples, and vegetables all died,” told a B’laan woman leader. “Even before talks of COVID-19, we are preparing for the worst. This lockdown has suspended public transportation and now we don’t know how else to earn cash to buy
food.”

A Higaonon woman leader told the same story, “The heat brought in a poor harvest. That’s why many of us in our community worked as labor workers, construction workers, and domestic helpers. But because of the lockdown, many of us were forced to stop working – by our employers to avoid transmitting the virus or because there was no more transportation that could take us to our jobs.”

Indigenous women that were not struck down by the heat wanted to sell their harvest in the market but now fear going outside because of the virus. Those who braved going outside could still not sell either because of the suspension of public transportation or because there are no buyers in the market.

“We have vegetables and sweet potato from our backyard, but until when will this last? We have no money to buy fish or even rice,” said an Aeta Abelen leader from Zambales. “I work as a caregiver to the elderly and my husband works on the farm. Both of us had to stop which means both of us stopped earning for our family.”

Indigenous women not only fear for their food security but also fear for their health brought by lack of proper nutrition, lack of food, extreme heat, and anxiety during the pandemic. Many of them have access to traditional medicines but fear not knowing what to do when COVID-19 strikes their communities.

“What means do they have to fight this virus? They have no money to buy medicines, and health centers are too far from their homes. They have no defense against this virus and the government is certainly not equipping them with any,” said Judy Afan Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Pasimio added that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the worsening inequality in our country, “Before the health crisis brought by the virus, rural and indigenous women and their families have already been suffering. Extreme weathers brought by climate change ruin their harvest – their food and their income.

Many indigenous communities are victims of land grabbing by corporations and the government to make way for mega-dams, large-scale mining, and industrialized plantations. Militarization runs rampant in their communities. They have no choice but to leave their ancestral lands or be killed. And indigenous women whose primary role is to secure food in their households suffer the most. They have no means to earn and they have no means to feed their children and themselves.”

Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

Many indigenous women are beneficiaries and largely depend on the Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The DSWD announced that they would continue their services despite the enhanced community quarantine and work suspensions. In their statement, they announced that they would be implementing a “force majeure” to all DSWD programs amidst the declaration of Public Health Emergency by President Duterte.
Monitoring of compliance of beneficiaries will be suspended which include Family Development sessions and check-up of mothers in health centers. Instead, the agency announced, beneficiaries will automatically receive financial support for education and health starting from February until the end of the Public Health Emergency.

However, reports from indigenous women collected by LILAK state that accounts of beneficiaries have remained empty since February. Indigenous women also reported that the DSWD has suspended claiming pay-outs from over-the-counter. In places such as Midsalip, Zamboanga, Subanen senior citizens have yet to receive their pension. They also reported no assistance from their barangays. “There’s nothing. They don’t even tell us if they have plans to help us,” said Isidro.

Indigenous women and support organizations such as LILAK demand action from DSWD, “The DSWD should have a system that can quickly and effectively support vulnerable communities. They should release clearer guidelines and mechanisms, especially in the community level. We in LILAK demand that they release the February, March and April pay-outs of 4Ps beneficiaries and secure that they will continue to receive this in the coming more months. We need to work faster because of a single day of
the delay could result in a life lost in our indigenous communities,” said Pasimio.

Militarized Response to a Health Crisis

LILAK and human rights organizations also question the extreme militarized response of our national government. “The President demands obedience or be put to jail. In this time of health and food crisis, instead of a mechanism to secure peace and order, should we not have a mechanism that is more geared towards helping and supporting our vulnerable communities,” said Pasimio.

LILAK fears that militarization could further endanger the lives of indigenous women. In the past, LILAK has received reports from the ground of indigenous women not receiving the help they need in times of crisis – either because they live in far and remote areas or because they are labeled enemies of the local government.

“We fear our barangay won’t help us. We were known critiques of our Mayor. In February, they called us to sign a petition that says we support federalism. I did not sign and told them we should first conduct a discussion in our community. They told me, bahala ka,” said an indigenous woman leader that requested to remain anonymous for her security.

Indigenous women together with LILAK and other support groups demand action from our government. “It is our government’s obligation – from Malacañang to barangays – to secure that communities in need of utmost help are supported. They need to assure the country that everyone has the capacity to overcome this crisis with hope and with dignity. We at LILAK call on the DSWD, LGUs, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. You have resources as evident by your efforts in implementing EO
70 (Creating a National task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict). Now we are in a health and food crisis. We hope you show the same vigor in combatting this virus, hunger, and poverty in our indigenous communities. We have enough stringent policies on lockdown and checkpoints, now we demand policies that are compassionate and that will prioritize indigenous women and their families
and vulnerable communities.”

For more information contact,
Judy A. Pasimio – judy104@lilak.net / 09175268341
Shar Balagtas – sharbalagtas.lilak@gmail.com / 09771966122

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[Statement] TAO PO, DSWD at NCIP! Panawagan ng suporta ng Pamahalaan sa mga katutubong kababaihan at ng kanilang pamilya -LILAK

“Ang takot namin ay mamamatay kami sa gutom, hindi sa COVID virus.”

Yan ang sagot sa amin ng isang lider babaeng katutubo mula sa Bukidnon nang kumustahin namin sila. Halos ganyan din ang sagot ng mga katutubong kababaihan mula sa Saranggani, Palawan, Oriental Mindoro, Zambales at General Nakar sa Quezon, habang sila ay nababahala sa epekto ng mga polisiya ng pamahalaan bilang tugon sa COVID-19.
Bagama’t maganda ang balitang walang nare-report na may COVID-19 infected sa mga indigenous communities, malaki ang pagkabahala ng mga katutubong kababaihan dahil sa ang isa sa pinakamalaking epekto ng “lockdown”, ay ang kawalan ng kaseguraduhan sa pagkain.

“Maagang dumating ang tag-init ngayon sa amin. At ang tindi. Nangamatay ang mga tanim namin – palay, pinya, at mga gulay,” ang kwento ng isang B’laang babaeng lider. “Kaya wala pa ang usaping COVID-19, naghahanda na kami sa panahon na taggutom. Pero sa pagdating ng lockdown, walang mga transportasyon, hindi man kami maka-diskarte para kumita ng pera.”

Ganito rin ang kwento ng Higaonong lider mula sa Bukidnon. “Dahil sa tagtuyot, hindi maganda ang ani namin. Kaya marami sa amin ang namamasukan muna bilang laborers sa ibang sakahan, o di kaya bilang construction workers, o domestic help. Pero dahil sa marami ngayong restrictions, marami ang nahinto muna sa trabaho – kung hindi man dahil pinahinto mismo ng kanilang amo para iwas ang pagkahawa, ang iba ay nahinto dahil sa mahirap ang transportasyon papuntang trabaho.”

Sa ibang may mga naitanim, at gustong magbenta ng kanilang gulay at prutas, may mga takot na lumabas; meron namang lumalabas kahit takot pero, walang masakyan o kung makarating man sa bayan, halos wala naman daw bumibili sa kanila.

“May makakain kaming mga gulay at kamote na nakatanim sa aming bakuran. Pero hanggang kelan na ganito lang kami? Walang bigas, walang isda man lang, dahil wala kaming pambili,” sabi ng lider Aeta mula sa Zambales. “Naka-asa ako sa aking pinapasukang pag-aalaga ng matanda, sa araw-araw. At ang asawa ko ay arawan din sa bukid. Ngayon, tigil lahat.”

At paano kung magkasakit sila – dala ng tindi ng init ng panahon, ng kawalan ng tamang sustansya mula sa kakulangan sa pagkain, sa tindi ng pag-aalala sa anong pwedeng mangyari sa kanila – ano ang kakayanan nila na labanan ito? Ang iba ay may access sa mga traditional medicines. Pero kung COVID-19 ang dumating? Wala talaga silang panlaban – walang pambili ng gamot, at napakalayo ng health center. Pano na nga ba?

Ang krisis dulot ng COVID-19ay pinatitingkad ang palalang “inequality” o di pagkakapantay-pantay sa ating lipunan. Bago pa man ang krisis na ito, hirap na ang mga pamayanan sa kanayunan, lalo’t higit ang mga katutubong kababaihan at kanilang pamilya. Ang epekto ng pagbabago ng klima ay isa sa mga pasanin ng mga magsasaka at vegetable growers – ang sobrang ulan at ang matinding tag-init ay sumisira sa kanilang mga pananim. Karamihan pa sa kanila ay inaagawan ng kanilang lupaing ninuno ng mga dambuhalang proyekto para pagkakitaan ang likas yaman – malawakang pagmimina, mega dams, at malalawak na mga plantasyon. Patuloy ang militarisasyon sa mga katutubong pamayanan na syang dahilan ng pagbabakwit. Kaya ang pagdating ng COVID 19 krisis, ay malaking dagok sa mga katutubong kababaihan na syang pangunahing abala sa pagsisiguro ng pagkain para sa pamilya. Mas mahirap para sa kanila ang harapin ang krisis na ito – ngayong simula ng tag-araw, wala silang sapat na ipon na pagkain ngayong lockdown, lalo nang walang ipong pera para pang tustos sa araw-araw na walang trabaho.

Marami sa kanila ang umaasa sa 4Ps o Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Pero napakagulo ng mga impormasyong nakukuha mula sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) na syang pangunahing nagpapatupad nito. Ang pinaka huling anunsyo nila ay mag tuloy-tuloy daw ang serbisyo ng DSWD. Magpapatupad daw ng “force majeure” ang programa sa lahat ng mga benipesyaryo nito, bilang pagtugon sa deklarasyon ng Presidente Duterte ng Public Health Emergency. Kaya “pansamantalang matitigil ang pagmomonitor sa pagsunod ng mga benepisyaryo sa mga kondisyon ng programa at awtomatiko silang makakatanggap ng tulong-pinansyal para sa edukasyon at kalusugan simula buwan ng Pebrero haggang sa matapos ang deklarasyon ng Pangulo.” (mula sa website ng DSWD) Ibig sabihin – wala munang mga Family Development sessions, hindi na muna iche-check kung nagpa check up ang nanay sa health center, o iche-check ang school attendance ng bata. Derechong pay out kagad.

Ang deklarasyon ng Pangulong Duterte ng Public Health Emergency (Proclamation No. 922) ay binaba nung ika-8 ng Marso, 2020, na epektibo sa loob ng anim na buwan, pwera na lang kung tatapusin ng mas maaga ng Presidente. Ito ay nagsasabi na mas paiigtingin ang tugon ng pamahalaan, at sisiguraduhin na ang mga ahensya at lokal na pamahalaan o LGUs ay may kakayanan na gamitin ang lahat ng rekurso ng pamahalaan para ipatupad ang mga urgent at kritikal na tugon sa pagpigil ng pagkalat ng COVID-19.

PERO – ang mga reports na nakukuha namin – wala pang laman ang accounts ng mga nanay sa ilang mga lugar, mula Pebrero pa. At ang sabi din, hinto muna ang over-the-counter na pagkuha ng ayuda. Sa ibang lugar tulad ng sa Midsalip, Zamboanga, ang mga Subanen na senior citizens ay di rin nakakatanggap ng kanilang pension. Wala pa rin daw nag-iikot na mga barangay upang mag-bigay ng suporta. “Ni wala man lang anunsyo o balita kung may plano ba o may ginagawa ana ba ang barangay namin para matulungan ang mga mamamayan,” ayon sa isang Mangyan lider mula sa Oriental Mindoro.

Ang nakita nating tugon ay ang mabilis at malawak na pagpapakalat ng mga militar at kapulisan sa ga checkpoints. Ang paulit-ulit na pananakot ng Presidente ay dapat sumunod, kung hindi, huhulihin. Pero hindi natutumbasan ito ng sigasig sa pagpapabilis at pag-aayos ng sistema ng pagtulong, pag-alalay at pag-suporta.

Sa konkreto, dapat mas may sistema ang DSWD na mas mapabilis ang pagpapa-abot ng suporta sa mga nangangailangan, at sa mga bulnerableng pamayanan. Dapat mas maging malinaw ang mga pahayag at mekanismo ng DSWD – hanggang sa community level. Para sa 4Ps, ibigay na ang Pebrero at Marso. Ihanda na ang Abril. Gayundin sa mga susunod pang buwan. Kailangan mas maging maagap, dahil ang bawat isang araw ng pagka-antala ay maaring katumbas ng kalusugan, o buhay ng mga katutubong mamamayan.

Ang mga barangay ang dapat ay nag-iikot na, para alamin sino sa kanilang mga constituents ang nangangailangan ng pagkain, at ng tulong. Mayroon namang pondo, ayon sa Presidente, kaya walang dahilan para magpatumpik-tumpik pa.

“Nangangamba ako kung makakarating ba talaga sa amin ang suporta ng aming barangay. Alam po nila na kritikal kami sa gawain nila, at di kami kampi sa Mayor. Nung isang araw nong Pebrero, pinatawag ako ng barangay, at pinapipirma sa petition na sumusuporta sa pederalismo. Tumanggi po ako, at ang sabi ko ay kailangan magdaos muna tayo ng mga diskusyon sa pamayanan,” ayon sa isang lider katutubo mula sa Zambales. “Ang sabi sa akin, bahala ka.”

Maraming reports na natatanggap kami sa LILAK, noon pa, na sa panahon ng bagyo, o kalamidad, hindi nakakatanggap ang mga lider katutubo ng ayuda mula sa barangay – dahil malayo sila, o di sila kampi. Sa ibang lugar pa nga, ang sabi ay sanay naman sila sa hirap. Sa ating pagsugpo ng COVID-19 virus, dapat ding puksain ang malalang diskriminasyon laban sa mga katutubo.

Sana, dapat, iba na ang kalakaran ngayon. Obligasyon ng pamahalaan – mula sa Malacanang hanggang sa barangay, na siguraduhing may suporta ang mga mamamayan, lalo na ang mahihirap at nangangailangan. Kailangang siguraduhin na lahat ay may kakayanan na maigpawan ang krisis na ito – ng may pag-asa at may dignidad.

Kumakatok din po kami sa National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). Kumusta po kayo? Nasan na po kayo? Aktibo po kayo sa pagpapatupad ng EO70 o Creating a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Ang kalaban po ngayon ay COVID-19, at kahirapan ng mga katutubo na harapin ang araw-araw ng buhay. Sana po magpakita rin kayo ng sigasig sa pagtulong at pagpuksa ng gutom at kahirapan ngayong krisis na ito.

Magpalabas sana kayo ng tulong – bigas, mga pagkaing tatagal, para sa mga katutubong mamamayan na dapat ay pangunahin nyong kinakalinga. Sana, dapat, ngayon na.
“May awa ang Diyos, malalagpasan din namin ito,” sabi ng B’laan lider.

Pero hindi awa ang hinihingi ng mga katutubong kababaihan mula sa pamahalaan, kundi ang obligasyon nitong magserbisyo sa lahat ng mamamayan, lalo’t higit sa mga nangangailangan.

Kailangang kumilos ng maagap, sistematiko at mapagkalinga ang pamahalaang Duterte lalo na ang DSWD, ang barangay LGUs, at ang NCIP. Tama na ang mga polisiyang ibinaba patungkol sa mga lockdown, at checkpoints. Kailangang magpakita ng malasakit sa mga katutubong kababaihan at sa kanilang mga pamilya, at sa lahat ng mamamayan.

Kilos na, Ngayon Na.

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[Video] Indigenous women against mining lead dance protest to mark Women’s Day

Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya – “This is a dance of our lives,” said Myrna Duyan, a Tuwali indigenous woman from Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.

Manang Myrna was one of the more than 100 indigenous women and women rights advocates who danced as a protest action to the continuing mining operations of the Australian company OceanaGold Philippines, Inc (OGPI) in Brgy. Didipio. “Tayaw” is a Tuwali dance representing unity and power to face any threat to their community. The Tuwali women danced at the barricade that the community has set up several months ago, to prevent the entry of mining equipment. The 25-year mining permit of OGPI has expired last June 20, 2019.

“What we are fighting for is our life and our children’s future. Mining has destroyed our way of living. They have destroyed our sources of food and water. To mark the International Women’s Day, we dance, we protest, and we say – no more mining. OGPI has to leave,” Manang Myrna said, speaking as the leader of the community organization, Bileg Dagiti Babbae (Power of Women).

The Tuwali women have led the movement against the destructive gold mining of OceanaGold Philippines Inc., (OGPI) for almost two decades. They now guard the picket-line in Sitio Verona, Brgy. Didipio where they maintain a round-the-clock schedule. The community has set up the barricade several months ago to prevent the entry of mining equipment as the 25-year mining permit of OGPI has expired last June 20, 2019. The women, armed only with placards and streamers bearing their calls to end mining, have successfully faced against ten-wheeler trucks and backhoes.

The “Tayaw” is a traditional Tuwali dance with three main movements – each move representing unity, power, and freedom. The women also held a “Gopa”, a Tuwali ceremonial chant that told the interwoven stories of their past and what they are fighting for to be their future. The Gopa told the women’s decades-long struggle against mining and told a story of a future where they are finally freed from it.

The Tuwali women were joined by support organizations such as LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights) and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM). “Indigenous peoples understand what it’s like for their land to be stolen by greedy giant mining and agricultural companies. We women understand the indescribable pain when you witness your land be destroyed and poisoned, the land where you come from – the land where you grow food,” said Mary Ann Forton, a member of LILAK and an Iraynon Bukidnon indigenous women from Antique. “As indigenous women, we are one with the Tuwali women in this fight for the land and against mining.”

According to Judy Afan Pasimio of LILAK, joining the action of the Tuwali women for Women’s Day is staying true to its origin. “The International Women’s Day has its roots from the march of thousands of women to demand their right to vote. More than a hundred years later and women are still fighting for their rights. It is important that we continue to strengthen the women’s movements as we fight for our rights and freedoms. On this day, we join the Tuwali women in their fight for their land and their life against OceanaGold.”

“We call on DENR to cancel the mining permit of OGPI. They must never be granted another renewal of their mining license; else we allow another 25 years of destruction and violations of human and environmental rights. Enough is enough,” said Caryl Pillora of ATM.

The dance protest action was led by the Bileg Dagiti Babbae, joined in by Didipio Earth Savers Multi-purpose Association Inc., (DESAMA), LILAK, ATM and Samahang Pangkarapatan ng Katutubong Magsasaka at Manggagawa Inc. (SAPAKMMI).

For more information, please contact:
judy afan pasimio – 09175268341
Shar Balagtas – 09771966122

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[Video] Dumagat and Remontado leaders of General Nakar, Quezon stand up against aggressive building of Kaliwa Dam -LILAK

WATCH: Dumagat and Remontado leaders of General Nakar, Quezon stand up against aggressive building of Kaliwa Dam | #IPHeroesDay

Indigenous peoples hold a special and sacred connection with their lands. However, for years they have been forced to leave their ancestral domains as the state disguises corruption and profit with development. Their land is not only their source food but also their site of ritual; it is their sanctuaries where they preserve their songs, stories, and culture passed down to them by their ancestors.

This IP Heroes Day, stand in solidarity and celebrate the bravery of indigenous peoples as they continue the struggle against land grabbing and development aggression. Be a part of the movement against destructive dams, large-scale mining, and projects that will displace indigenous peoples from their rightful homes.

#STOPKaliwaDam #KatutubongLilak

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[Press Release] Dumagat Leaders Response to President Duterte’s statement on using force to construct Kaliwa Dam -Lilak

“Sisirain ng dam ang aming mga buhay. Sa aming lupain kami kumukuha ng aming makakain. Ito ang aming kabuhayan. Ang kanilang sapilitang pag-angkin sa aming mga lupain ay kanila na ring pag-angkin sa aming mga buhay [It will destroy our lives. Our land is where we get our food. It is our livelihood. They are not only taking our lands, they are also taking our lives,” according to the speaker for AGTA, a Dumagat organization based in General Nakar.

This is in response to the statement made by President Duterte on Monday that he will not hesitate to use force to construct the Kaliwa Dam, a Php 18.7 Billion project that will be loaned from China. According to Duterte, he will use the “extraordinary powers” of the presidency, citing “outright police power” to continue construction of the mega dam.

“Kaming mga katutubo ay may lehitimong karapatan sa aming lupaing ninuno. Imbes na ang presidente at ang gobyerno ang mangalaga sa aming mga karapatan, sila pa mismo ang nangunguna sa paglabag ng mga ito [We have a right to our ancestral domains. Instead of protecting our rights, the president and the government are the first to violate them],” said Henry Borreo of the indigenous peoples organization, Pigtaanan ni Dumaget Remontado di General Nakar Quezon.

On October 22, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued an Environment Compliance Certificate or ECC to the Kaliwa Dam project. This is despite the protests of indigenous peoples in Quezon and Rizal who will be uprooted from their ancestral lands.

The Dumagat and Remontado also fear that the Kaliwa Dam will worsen climate crisis in the Philippines.

“Ramdam na natin ang pagbabago ng panahon. Ang tag-ulan ay nagiging tag-init at ang tag-init ay nagiging tag-ulan. Kapag itinayo ang Kaliwa Dam at sinira ang libu-libong mga puno sa Sierra Madre, hindi lamang kaming mga katutubo ang maapektuhan, kung ‘di milyun-milyong mga Pilipino [We can already feel the effects of climate change. Seasons have been interchanging. If they construct the dam, they will kill thousands of trees in Sierra Madre, and this will affect not only us Dumagat and Remontado but millions and millions of Filipinos],” said Meleng Rutuqeio, kaksaan [captain] of AGTA.

During the interview on Monday, Duterte stated that violations on environment and indigenous rights are not enough reasons to stop the project. He stressed that his primary concern is the welfare of the people affected by water shortage. The Dumagat and Remontado, however, expressed their doubts that the construction of the Kaliwa Dam will benefit ordinary Filipinos.

“Maraming alternatibong paraan para maibsan ang krisis sa tubig sa Metro Manila. Imbes na mabaon tayo sa bilyun-bilyong utang sa Tsina para sa pagpapagawa ng Kaliwa Dam, bakit hindi natin ayusin ang mga dam katulad ng Wawa dam at ng Umiray dam [There are many alternatives that can alleviate water shortage in Metro Manila. Instead of loaning billions from China, why don’t the government turn their attention to existing dams like the Wawa dam and Umiray dam],” asked Borreo.

“Ang Kaliwa Dam ay hindi para sa mga mahihirap katulad namin. Ito ay para patabain ang mga bulsa ng mga negosyante [The Kaliwa Dam is not for the poor like us. Its purpose is to fatten the pockets of businessmen], Rutuqeio added.
The youth of Dumagat and Remontado also appeal to the president that the government treat them as humans.

“Kami ay tao rin. Hindi kami ibang lahi. Kami ay parte ng mga taong pinangakuan ng pagbabago ng pangulo. Nanawagan kami sa kanya bilang tao na ‘wag gumamit ng dahas. Sapagkat ang paggagamitan nýo ng dahas ay mga kababaihan at mga kabataan, mga matatanda at mga sanggol [We are humans. We are not a different race. We are a part of the people that the president made a promise with. We ask of him as a human being to not use force against us for they will harm women, elders, and children],” said a Dumagat youth leader.

For more information:
judy a. pasimio – 01975268341 / judy@lilak.net

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[Statement] We Won’t Be Silenced! – Lilak Statement on the Arrest and Detention of Young Women Environmental Activists

Lilak strongly condemns the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines’ (CoMP), Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s, and the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) violent response to what was meant to be a peaceful and non-disruptive protest action.

On September 10, Tuesday, a silent protest amid the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibit by young women from the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) Women and Mining Working Group was violently disrupted. The young women were then arrested and detained.

Young women from LILAK (Purple Action Indigenous Women’s Rights), together with indigenous women from the Maporac Aetas Organization (MAO), the National Rural Women Coalition (PKKK), and Oriang, painted their bodies with the words Kalikasan, Kabuhayan, Karapatan, and Kinabukasan in protest of large-scale mining in the Philippines.

The women including a Lilak representative who was documenting the silent protest were arrested, detained, and taken to a police precinct where they were questioned. The Sofitel’s security staff, which was composed of undercover security personnel, extracted the young women using brute force and went as far as to cover the women’s mouths and noses with cloths. One of our sisters begged the security to let her breathe. This forceful extraction caused injury among three of our companions.

The overreaction, violence, and uncalled for arrest and detention from the security officers of Sofitel and PNP is a testament of CoMP’s and the Philippine government’s intolerance against environmental activists.

Lilak, as a collective of women human rights activists supporting indigenous women’s struggles and as a convener of the ATM Women and Mining Working Group, will continue its fight against large-scale mining and extractives, against the displacement of indigenous peoples, and against prejudice and violence of environmental and human rights activists and women human rights defenders.

#WeWontBeSilenced #KababaihanLumalaban #KababaihanLabanMina
#KatutubongLilak #LILAK

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[Press Release] Indigenous Women offered song, prayer to protest Kaliwa Dam Project -LILAK

Indigenous Women offered song, prayer to protest Kaliwa Dam Project

Photo by Susan Corpuz

March 8, 2019/Quezon City – “Ang lupa ay ginawa hindi para lunurin sa tubig.” “Land has been created not to be drowned in water”.

This is a line in the song sang in Dumagat, translated in Filipino, by the Indigenous Women in front of the building of Metro Manila Water Sewerage System (MWSS) early this morning, as offering was made by a Dumagat woman leader.

To mark today’s celebration of the International Women’s Day, indigenous women led by Dumagat women, held a short symbolic action to express their opposition to the Kaliwa Dam project of MWSS. The offering of soil, and mama or betel nut, speaks of their connection to the land, and their desire for peace, and harmony with nature.

“Pinipilit ang Kaliwa Dam na ito sa aming mga lupaing ninuno. Kung payagan naming ang proyektong ito para na rin naming pinayagan ang pagkalunod ng 5 barangay sa Rizal at 2 sa aming probinsya ng Quezon,” according to Remedios Marquez, an indigenous woman leader of the Dumagats in Quezon. (“They have insisted to pursue the Kaliwa project here in our ancestral domain. Our consent to this dam is like giving consent to submerge 5 barangays in Rizal, and another 2 in our province Quezon.”)

“Kami naman ay handang mag bahagi sa iba ng biyaya mula sa likas yaman sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno. Pero sana naman ay huwag sa ikasasalanta ng aming kabuhayan, tirahan, at kultura” added Ms. Marquez. (We are willing to share the riches of the resources within our ancestral domain, but not at the expense of our livelihoods, and our way of life.)

The Kaliwa Dam which costs PhP 18.724 Billion, will be developed to meet the increasing water demand by consumers in Metro Manila. The construction funds will come from a loan with China.

“Ang patuloy na di pagkilala sa aming sariling pagpapasya bilang mga katutubo ay isang porma ng karahasan laban sa aming kababaihan. Kaya kami, mula sa Aeta community, ay kasama sa pagtutol ng Kaliwa Dam”, pahayag ni Teresa dela Cruz, mula sa Zambales. (“The continuing disrespect to our right to self-determination as indigenous people is a form of violence against women. That is why we indigenous women from Zambales joins the protest against Kaliwa Dam.”)

According to Judy A. Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), this dam project is part of the Build, Build, Build Program of the Duterte administration. “Without regard to human rights, and the adverse impacts on human lives, especially those of indigenous peoples, this project becomes part of Duterte’s Kill, Kill, Kill program – kill the environment, kill the food sources, kill the communities’ way of life.”

Several human rights groups also joined the protest action – Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Focus on the Global South, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Non-Timber Forest Products –Task Force (NTFP), among others.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, we celebrate the courage of indigenous women who continue to fight for their rights, for the environment, and for a better future, not just for their communities, but for us all,” adds Ms. Pasimio.

For more information-
judy a. pasimio – 09175268341 / judy@lilak.net
Abby Dupale – 09155045530 / abby@lilak.net

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[Statement] Dahil sa lupa kami nabubuhay, dahil sa lupa kami pinapatay -LILAK

PAHAYAG NG MGA KATUTUBONG KABABAIHAN
Para sa March 8, International Women’s Day

Dahil sa lupa kami nabubuhay, dahil sa lupa kami pinapatay.

Kundi man biglaan at tahasan, kami ay pinapatay unti-unti, dahan-dahan; sa pamamagitan ng pagpasok ng mga dayuhan sa aming lupaing ninuno – para magmina, mag troso, magtayo ng dam, ng mga plantasyon, magbukas para sa turismo. Unti-unti kaming nasasakal sa kanilang pagbaliktad ng aming bundok, sa pagkalbo ng aming kagubatan, sa pagdumi ng mga ilog at karagatan, sa paglapastangan sa aming mga sagradong lugar.

Bilang mga nanay, ate, asawa, dalaga, lider kababaihan, aming pangunahing interes ay ang pagkakaroon ng sapat at masustansyang pagkain para sa pamilya, ang magkaron ng regular na mapagkakakitaan at matiwasay na araw at gabi sa aming komunidad.

Pero yan ay lalong nagiging mailap na pangarap sa kasalukuyan. Magkatunggali ang pagtingin ng presidente sa aming kalagayan at ang katugunan sa aming kahirapan. Ang presidente ang nagsabi na sya mismo ang pipili ng mga minahan at plantasyon na papapasukin nya sa aming mga lupaing ninuno. Tila bulag sa mga pahirap na dinudulot ng ganitong klaseng proyekto sa amin bilang mga babae, at sa aming komunidad. Ilan nang mga asawa, kapwa lider kababaihan ang mga napatay dahil sa pakikipag laban sa mga mapanirang mga proyektong ito.

Kamakailan din ay nagsabi ang presidente na babayaran kaming mga katutubo ng P20,000 sa bawat komunista, terorista na aming mapatay. Hanap-buhay ba ang pagpatay? Sagrado ang buhay, at kaming mga kababaihan ang nauunang nagbibigay ng buhay. Hindi namin pagkakakitaan ang pagkitil nito.
Tila ginagawang bahagi ng kaisipan, ng kultura ang karahasan. Yan ang di namin mapapayagan. Kapayapaan ang aming pangarap; kapanatagan ang aming hangarin at tunay na kaunlaran na nakabatay sa aming kalagayan sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno ang aming layunin.

Dapat nang iwaksi ang karahasan, ang patayan. Ang kailangan ay ang pagkalinga sa mamamayan. Sa aming mga katutubo, lalo’t higit sa mga kababaihan, ang nais namin ay tunay na serbisyung pangkalusugan, na may pagkilala sa aming kultura at sariling kaalaman sa pangangalaga ng aming katawan.
Dapat nang iwaksi ang pagsira ng kalikasan. Ang kailangan ay ang angkop at pangmatagalang pangkabuhayan upang ganap na maigpawan ang kahirapan at kagutumang nararanasan ng kababaihan at ng aming pamilya.

Sa lahat nang ito, kinikilala naming mga kababaihan na kami ay sumasalamin sa kalikasan, na kung kami ay tuwirang mapagsasamantalahan at di makakalinga ng ating pamahalaan, tulad din ng kalikasan, na lulugmok at tuluyang magiging kawalan ng sambayanan.

Ngunit, batid namin na ang tunay na lakas at pagbabago ay magaganap sa aming pagsasama-sama bilang katutubo, at pakiki-isa sa mas malawakang kilusan ng kababaihan.
KATARUNGAN, KABUHAYAN, KAPANGYARIHAN para sa KATUTUBONG KABABAIHAN!

https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1367431376736868&set=a.154885947991423.53814.100004100573821&type=3&theater

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[Press Release] INDIGENOUS WOMEN to Gov’t: Stop Violence, Focus on Food and Poverty -Lilak

Photo from Katutubong Lilak FB page

INDIGENOUS WOMEN to Gov’t: Stop Violence, Focus on Food and Poverty

Iba, Zambales / 3.8.18 – “Dahil sa lupa kami nabubuhay, dahil sa lupa kami pinapatay.”

“Land is why we live, land is why we are killed.” This is the statement of the Indigenous women to describe the current situation that most of their communities face today. “Puro patayan na lang ngayon – ng tao, ng kalikasan. Magmula sa war on drugs, tapos laban sa NPA. Humahaba na rin ang listahan ng mga katutubo na pinapatay dahil sa pakikipaglaban nila sa kanilang lupa mula sa mga minahan at iba pang dambuhalang proyekto. Samantala, mismo ang presidente ang nagtutulak ng pagmimina at plantasyon sa katutubong lupain. Tama ba yon?” asks Teresa dela Cruz, an indigenous woman leader from Maporac, Zambales.

“It is all about killings now – of people, or our environment. From war on drugs, then killings of NPAs. The list of indigenous peoples being killed for fighting for their land against mining and other investors, is growing. Meanwhile, it is the president himself which has said that it will handpick mining and plantations for the ancestral domain. Is this right?”

Indigenous women from Aeta, Mangyan and Dumagat communities celebrated the International Women’s Day at the capitol plaza of Iba, Zambales. TheAeta performed their traditional dance talipi and eagle dance. ”Eagles are very much part of our culture. But nowadays, you seldom see eagles. There are no more forest for them to live in,” Teresa explained. In their dance, the Aeta women brought baskets and bilao, which are often empty now. “Hunger is becoming an ordinary part of our daily experience. This is not just among Aetas but for most of us indigenous women. Our forests, and farms which are sources of food are being destroyed by land grabbers, and by development projects such as mining, and dams,” according to Conchita Bigong, anAlangan-Mangyan from Mindoro. “We need to cultivate our lands, and regenerate our forests. That’s where our food and livelihood come from.” In their statement, they criticized the president for offering P20,000 to indigenous people for every communist they kill. “Hanap-buhay ba ang pagpatay? Sagrado ang buhay, at kaming mga kababaihan ang nauunang nagbibigay ng buhay. Hindi namin pagkakakitaan ang pagkitil nito.”

“Is killing a livelihood? Life is sacred, and we, women are the ones who give life. We refuse to make money out of eliminating it.”

Remedios Marquez, a Dumagat woman leader said that what is needed today is less violence, but more caring and nurturing. “Ang kailangan ay ang pagkalinga sa mamamayan. Sa aming mga katutubo, lalo’t higit sa mga kababaihan, ang nais namin ay tunay na serbisyung pangkalusugan, na may pagkilala sa aming kultura at sariling kaalaman sa pangangalaga ng aming katawan.”

“What is needed is nurturing of our citizens. For us indigenous peoples, especially women, what we need are health services which recognize our culture and our indigenous knowledge in our care for our bodies.”

The women from Sta. Cruz, Zambales joined the celebration, as they echo the calls of the indigenous women to stop mining and destroying their environment. There were other groups present– LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) and World March of Women, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

This is the first time that the indigenous women led an International Women’s Day celebration in Zambales. “Batid namin na ang tunay na lakas at pagbabago ay magaganap sa aming pagsasama-sama bilang katutubo, at pakiki-isa sa mas malawakang kilusan ng kababaihan,”Remedios said.

“We know that true strength and the genuine changes lie in our coming together as a collective as indigenous women, and from the solidarity with the broader women’s movement.”

This year’s theme for their celebration – Katarungan, Kabuhayan, Kapangyarihan para sa Katutubong Kababaihan.

https://web.facebook.com/lilak.katutubongbabae/videos/1367909343355738/

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[Statement] RISE, RESIST, RECLAIM our rights, our voice, our territories -Lilak

Photo from Katutubong Lilak FB page

March 8 2018 – International Women’s Day
RISE, RESIST, RECLAIM our rights, our voice, our territories

We have been told to go to hell when we filed a complaint against then candidate Duterte with the Gender Ombud for violation of Magna Carta of Women, with his rape jokes and other sexist remarks.

We were on the streets until the eve of election to urge women and men to “Resist Neo-Fascists” and not vote for Duterte-Marcos.

We continued to march, wept for, and protested against the thousands of killings of women, men and even children under the so called War on Drugs; and kept pushing for legal, health-based and humane process for addressing drug addiction and rehabilitation.

We were vigilantly calling out sexist remarks, and anti-women actions of Duterte and his men, especially against women who are courageous enough to stand up for the truth, and against Duterte.

We have opposed Kill Bills (Death Penalty and Lowering the Age of Criminal Liability).

We have rejected Duterte’s persistency in weakening democratic institutions, and institutionalizing impunity.
We have been called “angry feminists” and without sense of humour.

We were harassed. We were maligned, threatened – on line, off line.

We keep on. We stand against the entrenchment of feudal landlords and the wholesale land grabbing of foreign corporations through charter change. We continue to work to end violence against women. We demand accountability to those who perpetuate misogyny. We resist fascists.

Our numbers may be few, but our voices are loud, our feet steady. And we are growing, like flowers abloom.

We are ReSISTERS!

This international Day of Women, LILAK joins our indigenous women sisters who stand with courage asserting their rights to their land, to life with dignity; and World March of Women-Pilipinas as we all RISE, RESIST and RECLAIM our rights, our voice, our territories as we struggle for more humane, just, fair, societies, where women of diverse identities are respected, honoured and celebrated.
http://www.lilak.net / 09175268341 – judy a. pasimio

Source: https://www.facebook.com/katutubonglilak/photos/a.572010879487661.1073741825.446251688730248/1769028266452577/?type=3&theater

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Facebook: @katutubonglilak
Twitter: @katutubonglilak

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[Press Release] Marchers with Purple Masks Call for the End of Violence Against Indigenous Women

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Marchers with Purple Masks Call for the End of Violence Against Indigenous Women
@katutubonglilak

Photo by Katutubong Lilak

(Quezon City/Philippines) – “Today, we speak up. We, indigenous women, who are among the poorest of the poor, hungrier among the hungry, seek justice for the continuing violation of our basic right to live with dignity,” Teresa dela Cruz said, an indigenous woman from the Aeta community of Zambales.

Teresa, a leader of the Katutubong Lilak, was part of the indigenous women marchers who were wearing purple masks, to mark the day of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. “We wear these purple masks as some of us are afraid to be seen in public protesting; but our desire to be part of this collective call to seek for accountability, and justice is strong.”

“Mabuti kung may CCTV sa kabundukan sa amin para makita at matukoy ang mga nangunguna ng karahasan sa amin. Pero wala. (It is good if there is CCTV in the mountains where we live to identify who are the perpetrators of violence against us. But there is none.),” says Leticia Gomez, an Aeta woman. “We experience violence on a daily basis – against our husbands, people from government agencies who refuse to attend to our needs, and those who grab our lands.”

The indigenous women marched to and held a program in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), where the residents of the Manicani Islands have been camping out for 15 days, protesting the large scale mining operations in their town. “We are here in solidarity with the Manicani women and men. Your struggle against mining is ours too. Your struggle for land and rights is ours too,” the indigenous women said.

Remedios Marquez, a Dumagat from General Nakar, expressed frustration that people had to camp out to get the attention of the government. “This government is really deaf, blind and mute to the needs of its people. The President has been holding summits, and state visits, but he does not have the time to listen to the people.”

“This government is so obssessed with killings and violence. Why does it not focus on providing livelihood and employment opportunities to its people?” Angeline Aquino, a Dumagat woman from Bulacan, said. “Our lives are on the line in protecting our forests and natural resources, and yet we receive very little attention and support from the government. Kabuhayan, hindi patayan!”

At the end of the program, Teresa, Remedios and Leticia with other indigenous women removed their masks. “We are no longer afraid. Even if this government is threatening us who believe in human rights, who are fighting for our rights, we are here to demand for our rights – to our land, to our lives.”

“For us indigenous women, we do not say the names of big influential people. But starting today, we should. We do – Duterte. Duterte who emboldens other men to objectify and disrespect women; Duterte who encourages killings and violence in our society. So we urge other women to demand – stop violence against women. Respect women human rights. We urge everyone to resist Duterte’s acts of sowing fear and terror in our communities,” said Leticia.

The indigenous women came from the provinces of Quezon, Zambales, Aurora, Bulacan and Pampanga. They were joined by other groups like LILAK, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, iDEFEND, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Freedom from Debt Coalition-Women’s Committee, Focus on the Global South, Philippine Movement from Climate Justice, among others.

Contact Information:

LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
Judy A. Pasimio – 09175268341 / judy@lilak.net
Abbygail F. Dupale – 09155045530 / abby@lilak.net

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[Statement] A deadly difference of world view -LILAK

Statement from LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

A deadly difference of world view

In his speech in the recently concluded Mining Conference 2014 organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP), Vice-President Jejomar Binay said that, “We must take an accurate inventory of our nation’s natural resources and if possible plot a schedule for harnessing these resources with long-term goals firmly in mind.” This was a great assurance to CoMP president Benjamin Philip Romualdez, also of Benguet Corp, that should Binay take over the government administration in 2016, there will be no change in the government development path. Romualdez’ line has been consistent: “We must make full use of our resources.”

LILAK

Fausto Orasan, known as Datu Sandigan, to the Higaonons in his community, believed otherwise. Abundant with minerals such as gold, the ancestral domain of the Higaonons in Cagayan de Oro have been subjected to several mining explorations and under Datu Sandigan’s leadership, the community consistently refused and condemned mining operations. Datu Sandigan believed that its possible to pursue economic activities that would alleviate the lives of the people without destroying the environment or compromising indigenous people’s rights.

Datu Sandigan had been steadfast in his defense of his ancestral domain, and had played an active role in the protection of the natural resources not only within his tribe’s ancestral domain but of the entire Cagayan de Oro city.

This commitment, and difference of view with those who push for the extractive, exploitative and destructive industry of mining and logging, has cost Datu Sandigan’s life. In the afternoon of September 13, 2014, Datu Sandigan was gunned down by unidentified men in Sitio Cabalang, Barangay Tuburan, Cagayan de Oro City while he was on his way home from a meeting. He died instantly from the multiple gunshot wounds in his body.

Bae Matatao Orasan, his wife, was joined in her mourning, by the Higaonon community, and the local government of Cagayan de Oro. The City Environment Officer described Datu Sandigan as the “soul of the forests”. Datu Sandigan had been an active partner of the local Environment Office in the campaign to preserve the remaining forests in the city uplands. He was part of several raids in mining and logging sites conducted by the local government.

On the day before he was killed, Datu Sandigan received a death threat. Apparently, not the first. In fact, according to Bae Matatao, in June last year, Datu Sandigan was shot in their house by still an unknown assailant, but he survived that attempt on his life.

Indeed, the message was loud and clear – the extractive industry in Cagayan de Oro is a serious big business, and anyone who crosses its path, has to be silenced. At all cost.

This is so in the entire Philippines. Datu Sandigan is the 26th community rights defender against mining and other exploitation of natural resources who was killed under the Aquino administration. (source: ATM)

The view that natural resources is for corporate profit, and that human rights, and lives are simply part of business expense, seem to be so ingrained in our system, that not even the change of administration will change this development model. What is demanded now is a radical shift in how we look at our resources, and our people. The natural resources are finite. The massive exploitation of nature has increased the vulnerability of communities to the dire impacts of climate change. The conversion of food sources – farms, rivers and seas, forests – to open pit mines and tailings disposal is worsening people’s hunger. Future generations will have to continue to rely on nature for their survival. To rob them of nature’s generosity is inequitable, and unjust.

Datu Sandigan’s fate is both a cautionary and inspirational story. It reminds us of what we are up against and what it takes to win our struggles. Most of all it reminds us why we must stand and continue to fight. The risks are great, but the costs of not standing up and not speaking out are even greater.

As Romualdez led the delegates of the Mining Conference 2014 to its conclusion, they applauded and congratulated themselves for another year of profit. Meanwhile, Bae Matatao, along with the family and supporters of Datu Sandigan, laid her husband, the tribal leader, and the community rights defender, to rest.

May the soul of the forest rest in peace.

May justice be served for Datu Sandigan, and the other community rights advocates who were killed, but not silenced.

 

Sept. 21, 2014

www.lilak.net

facebook account – katutubong lilak

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[People] Indigenous women – still at the margins of development by Judy A. Pasimio

Indigenous women – still at the margins of development
by Judy A. Pasimio
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)

Photos by Susan Corpuz of Lilak

Judy Pasimio photo from lilak

“In a period of lethargic global economic activity, we registered an astounding 6.8 percent GDP growth in 2012. We surpassed this in the first quarter of 2013, when we reported growth of 7.8 percent—the highest recorded GDP in East and Southeast Asia.” This was what President PNoy Aquino declared in his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA). According to him, Philippines is now considered a “rising tiger” by the World Bank.

While there is a broad acknowledgement of these growth statistics, there is also a widespread analysis that this growth has not trickled down to the masses, and that inclusive growth is necessary. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) defines inclusive growth as “sustained growth that creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty.” So what is the grand plan of PNoy in making this much-touted growth more inclusive? Does he have any? If he does, he did not discuss that in his SONA. His emphasis was on sustaining growth. PNoy apparently believes that this number of 7.8% actually means that the lives of poor Filipino peoples have improved. In his SONA, he goes on further, “The transformation of our society is not just evident in the economy or in statistics. Now, Filipinos know: Rich or poor, with or without political connections, when you do wrong, you will pay the consequences. Now, justice is truly blind.”

But with all due respect, Mr. President, we think it is you who are blind, to not see the real conditions of the poor Filipino peoples.

Here are the thoughts of indigenous women who personify the poorest of the poor in our societies. Hearing what PNoy considered as the accomplishments of his administration, the indigenous women expressed disappointment, sadness and even outrage on the lack of attention on, and the exclusion of the plight of indigenous peoples, and the natural resources, on which this so-called development of the government has heavily relied on and on which the survival of indigenous communities depend on. We share the indignation that the indigenous women felt in hearing the president talking about justice, and sounding so fierce in warning about punishment for the killing of suspected carnapper/murderer members of the Ozamis Gang. Aquino, with all the menace he could muster said, “ . . . we will ensure that those at fault will be held accountable—regardless of their rank. Whoever masterminded all of this: prepare yourselves. I am close to learning who you are.” But what about those who masterminded the massacre of the B’laan leader Juvy Capion, and her two sons Jordan, 13 years old, and John, 8 years old last October 2012? We already know who was the lead in this gruesome Tampakan massacre – members of the 27TH Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army led by 1Lt. Dante Jimenez, Commanding Officer of Bravo Company, under the command of Lt. Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo, Battalion Commander. There was an official admission that the military men shot at the family, and they said it was an “operational lapse.” But we have not heard such livid protest, nor warning to the erring military officers from the President. The Indigenous women ask, what does that say about the bias of the President? The Ozamis Gang deserves justice, and the anti-mining indigenous leaders, and those who defend their land such as Juvy Capion and her children, don’t?

What is the focus of this government? Who is the focus of the President in his development program? In his quest for justice? Who are included in inclusive growth? The indigenous women felt, again, excluded, not just in his SONA, but in his whole development program.

We call on the President that in his next, and last, three years of administration, to walk away from this trickle-down formula of development which has not worked, and will never do. What is inclusive growth anyway? It is high time that the government not just aim for the poorest of the poor to be simply included, as if as an afterthought, in the development designed to enrich the richer, to provide more opportunities to the already privileged. Development should start from the margins, focusing on the poorest, the hungriest – the indigenous peoples. This is not just growth, not just development. This is justice.

Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy said, “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. They are only deliberately silenced or preferably unheard of. The indigenous women will not be silenced, until they are heard.

(English translation of the words of the indigenous women provided below.)

Bae Ruth Tilaon – Manobo, Surigao del Sur

Hindi ako masaya sasinabi ni Pnoy sa SONA na ito. Nabigo na naman kaming mga kababaihang tribo. Hindi pa rin nya nabanggit kung ano ang pagtingin nya sa benepisyo namin sa sinasabi nyang kaunlaran. Mabuti pa ang carnapper na namatay (Osamis gang), hinahanapan nya ng hustisya. Ang Ampatuan Massacre wala pa hanggang ngayon. Ang mga lider naming sa komunidad na napatay, wala pa ring hustisya hanggang ngayon. Biased talaga si Pnoy.

Ang 4Ps na programa na pinagmamalaki nya – Dito sa amin, karamihan sa nakakatanggap ay hindi mahihirap tulad ko. Palakasan ang sistema, at madalas ginagamit ito ng mga politiko.

At nasaktan din ako sa mga nakita ko sa mga ralyista. Kahit kaunting oras lang, mapakinggan sana sila. Hindi kailangang saktan sila. Nakakaiyak talaga ang nangyari.

I am not happy with what PNoy said in his SONA. We, the indigenous women, once again feel let down. The President didn’t even talk about us, and how we are part of the development that he was talking about. It was even better for the carnappers who were killed (Osamis Gang), he seeks justice for their deaths. The Ampatuan Massacre, until now, has not been given justice. And our community leaders who have been killed, still no justice for them. PNoy is really biased.

On the 4Ps program that he was so proud of – Here in our community, a lot of the receipients are not poor like me. The program is being used by the politicians, and it is them who determine who becomes part of the program and who are not.

And I felt hurt seeing what happened to the protesters. They could have been given even a short time to be listened to. They did not have to get hurt. It was really saddening.

Robina Poblador – B’laan, Saranggani

Nainis talaga ako sa SONA ni Pnoy. Dahil maraming pangyayari sa mga lupang ninuno namin, wala man lang syang nabanggit tungkol dito, at tungkol sa mga isyu ng mga katutubo. Naryan ang problema sa mining. At yung mga namatay na leader ng mga IPs. Hanggang ngayon, wala pang hustisya. At ang mga Osamis gang na kriminal, talagang may special na pagbanggit para hanapan ng hustisya ang pagpatay. Pero hanggang ngayon, ang mga military na pumatay sa kasama namin na si Juvy Capion at dalawa nyang mga batang anak, ay di pa rin napaparusahan! At wala kaming naririnig na matinding panawagan mula kay PNoy para sa hustisya para kay Juvy. Hanggang ngayon, ang dami pa ring pinapatay sa aming mga B’laan dahil sa gulo ng mina. Wala pa ring hustisya!

Pinag-usapan din ni PNoy ang tungkol sa mga niyog! Dapat bago sya mamigay ng mga niyog niya, ayusin niya muna ang mga problema namin. Aanhin pa namin ang mga niyog nya kung wala na ang mga bundok namin dahil sa mina.

Sana bigyang pansin naman ni PNoy ang mga isyu naming mga IPs.

I was really angry with the SONA of PNoy. So many problems are happening in our territories, and he has not even mentioned any of these, or any of our issues as Indigenous Peoples. There’s the issue of mining. And the killings of our indigenous leaders, who up until now, have not received justice. The criminals of the Osamis Gang even received special attention from him, seeking justice for their deaths. But our B’laan sister Juvy Capion, and her two young boys, who have been killed by the military, have yet to receive justice. And we don’t hear him strongly calling for justice for Juvy! And till now, a lot of B’laans are being killed because of the conflict brought about by mining. Still no justice!

PNoy talked about coconuts. Before he even distributes his coconuts, he should resolve our problems first. What use will be his coconuts for us when we have lost our mountains already to the mines.

We hope PNoy gives attention to our issues as indigenous Peoples.

Kakay Tolentino – Alta-Dumagat, KATRIBU

Sa pangkalahatang balangkas ng plataporma ni PNoy, walang tukoy na plano para sa direktang pagtugon o hakbangin paano tutugunan ang deka-dekadang panawagan ng mga Indigenous Peoples (IPs) na irespeto ang karapatan ng mga IPs sa lupang ninuno at ang aming right to self-determination. Lalo pa ngayonsa kalagayang nagpapatuloy ang panghihimasok at pandarambong sa mga likas yaman at lupaing ninuno ng mga dambuhala at mapangwasak na pagmimina, na kung saan sa kalikasan nakasandig ang batayang kabuhayan at buhay ng mga katutubong pamayanan. Ang pagbanggit sa katagang katutubo ay nakabalangkas lamang sa mga benepisaryo ng philhealth. Hindi ito tuwirang katugunan sa mga makatarungang batayang serbisyong panlipunan na tulad na laging binabanggit ng rehimeng Aquino na sa pagmimina magkakaroon ng malaking pag unlad ang kabuhayan ng mga IPs at ng buong mamamayang Pilipino. Sa kabila nito, walang nasabing pagtugon at pagbibigay ng hustisya sa patuloy na dumaraming human rights violations tulad ng mga extrajudicial killings ng mga katutubong bata, kalalakihan at kababaihang liders na pawang nagtatanggol sa karapatan sa lupaing ninuno at lumalaban sa pagpasok ng mga dayuhang imperyalistang panghihimasok at pandarambong.

Hinggil sa sinasabing isa sa priority ang energy projects – JALAUR mega dam sa Panay Island, na sinasabing para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng industriya at hindi ang pangangailangan ng agrikultura ng ating bansa. Talagang pinahihirapan ang pag-debelop ng ating agrikultura. Naryan pa rin ang nagpapatuloy na pyudal na pagsasamantala sa mga magsasaka na nagbabasura sa inutil na CARPER. Dapat nangipatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupang pang agraryo para sa mahihirap na magsasaka, kabilang ang pagrespeto sa karapatan sa lupaing ninuno at karapatan sa sariling pagpapasya ng mga katutubo.

In the overall platform of PNoy, there is no direct plan to respond or to take steps to address the decade-long demands of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to respect their rights to their ancestral domains and their right to self-determination. This is especially crucial now, given the continuing encroachment into our ancestral domains and plunder of our natural resources by the giant and destructive mining companies, affecting the communities who depend on natural resources for their livelihood and their very lives. The mention of IPs in his SONA was only in reference to us as beneficiaries of Philhealth. This does not address the lack of basic social services, which the Aquino regime claims will be provided for by the mining industry.

On the other hand, there was no mention about the continuing human rights violations like extrajudicial killings of indigenous children, men and women leaders who were defending their rights to their ancestral domains, and fighting against the encroachment and plunder of imperialist companies.

On the priority energy projects –Jalaur mega dam in Panay Island, PNoy said that is being built to address the needs of the industry and not the agriculture of our country. There is also the ongoing feudal oppression against the farmers who are rejecting the inutile CARPER law. It is necessary to implement a genuine agrarian reform, which will benefit poor farmers, respect the rights of the indigenous peoples to their ancestral domains, and the rights to self-determination.

Wilma Tero – Subanen / Midsalip

Ang sabi ni Pnoy “Ang sona na ito ay SONA NINYO.” Napakasarap pakinggan nito na sa aking pagkaintindi pagsinabi niya SONA ninyo ito ay bahagi ako sa mga developments na binabanggit niya sa sona niya. Pero bakit hindi ko ma feel na bahagi ako sa sona niya? Simple lang ang sagot dahil bilang katutubong kababaihan hindi ko mararamdam na may development sa aming mga katutubo. Wala man lang pagbanggit si Pnoy ilan na bang CADT (certificate of ancestral domain title) ang na isyu ng kanyang administrasyon sa taong 2012. Hindi rin nya na banggit ano ang plano ng gobyerno para mapanatili sa amin ang aming natitirang lupaing ninuno na sa ngayon ay nasa critical na sitwasyon dahil gusto nang nakawin ng mga dambuhalang minero.

Pangulong PNoy, hindi lang 4Ps(Pantawid Programa para sa Pamilyang Pilipino) ang makapagbigay saya sa aming mga katutubong kababaihan. Gusto rin namin makamit ang tunay na kapayapaan sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno. Papano ba kaming mga kababaihang katutubo at ang buong tribo magiging mapayapa kung patuloy ang kaguluhan sa amin dahil nandyan ang presensya ng mga minero at ng mga armadong security guards nila? Papano ba kami patuloy na makipagsalamuha kay Megbebaya’ (diyos) kung napakaingay na ng aming buong lupaing ninuno? Papano pa namin maipagpatuloy ang aming unique culture kung tuluyan nang nakawin sa amin ang aming konti nalang natitirang lupain? Ang lupa o kalikasan ay siyang puso ng aming kultura, kung itoy mawala sa amin mamamatay na rin ang aming kultura. Pangulong PNoy, lingonin mo rin kami, tingnan at pakinggan . Hindi namin hinangad ang uri ng development na nakakasira at nakakamatay sa aming lahat at sa aming kultura. Para sa aming mga kababaihang katutubo, ang tunay na development ay ang naaayon sa aming pangangailangan at angkop sa aming kultura.

PNoy said, “This is your SONA.” This is so good to hear, and as I understand this means that I am part of the developments that he was reporting on in his SONA. But how come I do not feel that I am part of his SONA? The answer is simple – because as an indigenous woman, I do not feel that there has been any development within our community. PNoy did not even mention how many Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) has been issued in 2012. He also has not talked about his plans as to how his government will help in protecting the remaining lands and domains from the encroachment of giant mining companies.

President PNoy, it is not only 4Ps (Pantawid Programa para sa Pamilyang Pilipino) that will make us happy. We also want to achieve genuine peace in our community, in our ancestral domains. But how will we, indigenous women, and the rest of our tribes, feel the peace when conflict in our areas intensify with the presence of mining and their armed security guards? How can we continue to relate and commune with Megbebeya’ (God) when our community is in conflict? How can we continue to practice our culture when our remaining lands are being robbed from us? Our land and environment are part of our culture, and heritage. If all of these will be taken away from us, then we lose our culture. President PNoy, turn to us, look at us, and listen to us. We do not wish for the kind of development that destroys and kills us, and our culture. For us, indigenous women, genuine development is one that is culturally appropriate for us, and that responds to our needs.

Judith Manares – Ibaloi, Baguio City

Nakakalungkot ang SONA ni PNoy. Hindi ito SONA ng katutubo, SONA lang nya ito. Isa na namang klase ng suhol para sa katutubo ang binabanggit nyang Philhealth. Gaya na naman ito ng 4Ps na ginagamit ng gobyerno para mapagtakpan ang tunay na problema ng kahirapan ng ating bansa, at ang maraming isyu ng mga mahihirap tulad ng mga katutubo – ang patuloy na paninira ng mga kalikasan sa loob ng ancestral domains ng mga mapang-api na mga korporasyon, ang patuloy na pagpatay ng mga katutubong hindi sumasang ayon sa mga mapanirang mga developments, ang di makamtang hustisya ng mga walang awang pinatay, ang di tamang pagbigay mga serbisyong gobyerno para sa tamang pangangailangan ng katutubong komunidad. Binanggit nya ang Jalaur dam sa Iloilo na malaking tulong sa probinsya pero takip ang kanyang mata at tenga sa iyak ng mga katutubong sinilangan na malulunod sa dam na ito. Umiiyak ang mga tribo na nandoon, pero bingi ang gobyerno ni pnoy sa kanilang iyak. Walang silbi ang laman ng sona nya sa akin, hindi akin ang SONA nya dahil wala akong naramdaman na umangat ang aking kabuhayan bagkus mas lalo pang nalugmok ang katutubo na namumuhay sa bundok. Ang SONA nya ay para sa mga tao na namumuhay sa urbanidad, sila ang nakinabang sa dulot ng pagpapahihirap sa aming katutubo. Luhaan na naman ang katutubo sa kanyang gobyerno. SONA? Tigilan na yan.

PNoy’s SONA is saddening. This is not the SONA of indigenous peoples. This is just his. The mentioned Philhealth benefits for indigenous peoples is just another form of bribery. It’s just like the 4Ps that is being used by the government to cover up the real problem of poverty of our country, and the various issues of the poor, such as the indigenous people. Critical issues such as unabated destruction of the environment within our ancestral domain by oppressive companies, the killings of indigenous leaders who do not agree to the destructive development, the lack of justice for these killings, and the lack of basic social services to the indigenous communities. PNoy mentioned the Jalaur dam in Iloilo, which he claims will be a big development for the province, but his ears and eyes are deaf and blind to the tears of the indigenous peoples who will be inundated by this dam. I did not feel that his SONA was my SONA because I did not feel any improvement in the lives of indigenous communities, as their lives in the mountains have worsened. His SONA is for those people living in the cities, who benefit on the sacrifices of indigenous peoples. The indigenous peoples are once again in tears. SONA? Let’s just put a stop to this.

 

Bae Rose Undag – Higaonon, Misamis Occidental

Sa SONA ni Pnoy, hindi nya nabanggit ang mga mina na kung saan ito ay makikita sa loob ng Lupaing Ninuno at ito ay nagdudulot ng kaguluhan at patayan. Ang Lupaing Ninuno at teritoryo ng mga katutubo ay hindi nabibigyang pansin ni PNoy, gayong dito nagmula ang mga likas yaman sa Pilipinas. Ang patuloy na pagpatay sa mga pangulo ng mga tribu na kahit isa hindi nabigyan ng hustisya ay wala din sa pag iisip ni PNoy.

Walang pakialam si PNoy sa kalagayan ng mga katutubo sa Pilipinas. Maski sa usapang pang KAPAYAPAAN, lalo na sa Mindanao ay hindi pa rin nabanggit ang mga katutubo, na parang wala kaming kinalaman sa usaping ito, na parang di kami apektado sa usaping ito.

Kaya naman, tayo, mga katutubong kababaihan at kalalakihan, patuloy pa rin tayong kumikilos para sa kapakanan ng mga katutubo. Dahil hindi natin maasahan ang kasalukuyang gobyerno para kalingain tayo.

In his SONA, PNoy did not mention anything about mining operations which can be seen within our ancestral domains and which bring about conflict and killings. PNoy has not given any attention to our ancestral domains and territories, considering these are where our natural resources come from. The ongoing killings of indigenous leaders which have not yet been given justice are far from the mind of PNoy.

PNoy does not care about the situation of the indigenous peoples. Even as he discussed Peace, especially in Mindanao, he has not mentioned us, as if we have nothing to do with the issue of Peace, as if we are not affected by this matter.

And that is why we, indigenous women and men, should continue to act and work towards the fulfillment of our interests. Because we have seen that we cannot rely on this government to take care ofus.

Photos by Susan Corpuz
July 31, 2013
For more info: judy@lilak.net / 09175268341

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[Statement] LILAK on the International Indigenous Women’s Day

LILAK on the International Indigenous Women’s Day

September 5 was declared as International Indigenous Women’s Day by Indigenous Women of Latin American in 1983. This was in honor of Bartolina Sisa, an Aymara resistance leader who was brutally executed by royalist forces in La Paz, now the capital of Bolivia, on September 5, 1782. Bartolina, along with her husband, Tupac Catari, led the revolution against the colonialists, asserting their rights as indigenous peoples, and fighting for an equitable share in the Adean’s natural resources.

The rebellion began in Chayanta province, where millions of indigenous people died extracting silver mines for the Spanish colonizers.

Catari and Bartolina were captured along with other rebel commanders, and were brutally killed by the imperialists. After months of unspeakable torture and rape, Bartolina was strangled to death, and her hands and head severed for public display.

Three centuries later, indigenous peoples are still dying extracting mines for the colonial companies, and being killed for their assertion of their rights, and for the equitable distribution of our natural resources. Today, there are countless Bartolinas, even here in the Philippines.

Just a few days ago, the torture of Subanen woman Delma Manda began, when her husband, Timuay Lucenio Anda, and her son, Jordan, were ambushed by still unknown, masked assailants, some 5 kilometers away from their home. They were on their way to the school of Jordan, 11 years old. Jordan was killed on the spot by gunshot wounds. Timuay Lucenio, who has been receiving death threats in the past years, survived the ambush.
The clan of Timuay (Subanen leader) Lucenio has been leading the Subanen community in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, in their fight for their land rights against logging and mining since the 1960’s.

Delma, who remains inconsolable for her loss, is joined by other Subanen women who express rage over the killing of Jordan, a future leader of the community. Bae Joy Lubosan-Paulin of Kumalarang Ancestral Domain, said “Jordan was killed by individuals who want to grab and take control of the wealth which we, the Subaanens are made stewards of. As a mother, wife and community leader, I cry for justice. The government should be serious in its efforts to search for justice in this senseless death of an innocent child.”

The story of Bartolina and the Aymara people in the mines for colonials in the hinterlands of Bolivia is the story of the Subanen people. Wilma Tero, a Subaanen woman leader in the campaigns against mining in Midsalip, Zamboanga, says “If mining continues in the Zamboanga peninsula, or in the entire Philippine archipelago, more lives will be lost, even of those of innocent children. In Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, a Subanen man was killed during a picket, amidst the conflicts with Toronto Ventures, Inc (TVI), a Canadian mining company. In July this year, a group of Subaanen men was ambushed by the guards of TVI in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. Some were killed, scores were hurt. And now, Timuay Lucenio was ambushed, and his innocent son was killed. When will the violence and the killings stop? When will the lives of our people being taken away as price for our struggle in the protection of our ancestral domains against the mining industry stop? When will the government stop talking about responsible mining? Are the killings of our people part of its responsible mining?”

During Bartolina’s time, mining was undertaken at a massive scale to feed the development needs and greed of the colonials. Today, mining in the Philippines is primarily to feed the need for profit of foreign mining companies, like TVI. This, at the expense of our natural resources, our environment, and the lives of people from the communities who resist the destruction of their sources of food, livelihood, and life.
In celebration of the International Indigenous Women’s Day, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Peoples Rights) stands with thousands of indigenous women in their struggle for the recognition of their right to self-determination as indigenous women, who are greatly dependent on natural resources for food, shelter, and survival of their families, and their societies.

LILAK joins Delma and the Subaanen women in calling for the end of violence in their communities, to end the impunity and bring Jordan’s killers to justice.
LILAK calls on the Philippine government to protect its people from violence and the corporate greed that cultivates violence. There can never be responsible mining when the price for making mining responsible is the escalating number of deaths of indigenous leaders.

LILAK stands with the indigenous women the world over as the struggle for a more equitable, inclusive, nurturing, life-supporting development paradigm.

Sept. 5, 2012
judy a. pasimio
Deniza Ismael-Villota, coordinators
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
A collective of women advocates for indigenous women’s rights

judy.pasimio@gmail.com / den.lilak@gmail.com
09175268341 / 025855240