Tag Archives: Lumad

[Statement] on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau | ALG

#HumanRights #StopRedTagging

Statement of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) on the forceful taking of the lumad children and red-tagging of their counsel, Children’s Legal Bureau

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG) strongly denounces the red-tagging of the Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc. (CLB), a member of the ALG, and the act of government agencies involved in seizing Lumad children in the University of San Carlos (USC) Talamban on Feb. 15, 2021.

The incident concerns members of the Lumad Bakwit School, children and their teachers alike, that were unlawfully arrested in the USC Talamban campus in Cebu City. This was conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The PNP issued a statement alleging that the children were first “lured to enroll with communist front” and then brought to Cebu City to “undergo revolutionary training as future armed combatants.” They claimed it was a “rescue” operation for Lumad children studying in the Lumad Bakwit School. In truth, the children taken are refugees from militarized areas of Mindanao that are seeking education they do not have access to.

In a statement issued by the CLB, an ALG member that represents seven of the Lumad children, they have indicated that the forceful taking of the children were “unnecessary and uncalled for” because the children were not in a dangerous situation. They further added that greater prudence could have been practiced by the government agencies if the children’s best interest were put first. To add to this grave misconduct by the government, CLB was recently red-tagged in a public poster seen in Mandaue City, Cebu by a certain People for Peace Coalition-Central Visayas.

Chad Errol Booc, volunteer teacher for Math and Science with the Lumad Bakwit School, was among those arrested. Chad along with other indigenous leaders who have long-suffered from red-tagging are assailing the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law.

The ALG is alarmed by these incidents that further reinforce the fear of progressive organizations and indigenous peoples that the Anti-Terror Law will be used as a political tool to suppress human rights and other liberties.

The ALG stands by the CLB, the Lumad children and their parents, and the indigenous peoples community and advocates that walk with them. We call on the government to take actions so that the agencies concerned be held accountable. We also continue the call to junk terror law as it only further sows a culture of fear, violence, and impunity.

FreeLumad26

JunkTerrorLaw

SaveOurSchools


Alternative Law Groups
Ateneo Human Rights Center
BALAOD Mindanaw
Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC
ERDA Foundation, Inc.
Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc – HLAF
KAISAHAN
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center
Process Foundation Panay,inc
Rainbow Rights Philippines
SALIGAN
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB

https://web.facebook.com/TheAlternativeLawGroups/photos/a.806936606128956/1892271134262159/

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[In the news] ‘Lumad’ takes IP struggle to Congress -INQUIRER.net

After years of struggling for the rights of indigenous peoples (IPs), Manobo tribeswoman Eufemia Cullamat from Surigao del Sur finally leveled up her advocacy with a seat in the House of Representatives.

“I will pledge my life for our struggle and bring it to Congress,” said Cullamat, a native of Lianga town, after she took her oath of office before Surigao City Vice Mayor Alfonso Casurra on June 3.

Cullamat is the second Manobo to serve in Congress after former Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, but she is the first from Surigao del Sur and the first “lumad” (IPs in Mindanao) to represent the Bayan Muna party list in Congress.

“We have prevailed, despite the circumstances that we have faced during the campaign period from the harassment and threats,” she said.

“Even if they have accused and vilified us for being supporters of communist armed groups, we stood our ground and we proved them wrong,” she added.

Read more @newsinfo.inquirer.net

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[Statement] PNFSP criticize another attempt to discredit Lumad schools

Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Inc. (PNFSP) vehemently condemn another desperate attempt by the military to discredit and close down the Lumad schools, Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Programs for Surigao del Sur (TRIFFPSS) on the pretext of legislative inquiry orchestrated by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Congressional Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities (CICCIP) and the 401st Infantry Brigade (IB) of the Philippine Army.

On April 26, 2019, soldiers belonging to the 401st IB arrived in Km 9, Sitio Simowao, Bgry. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur and encamped in several houses there. In the morning of April 28, the soldiers gathered the community members in front of the school run by TRIFFPSS without asking permission, attempted to forcibly open the doors of the classrooms but were stopped by a community leader. Then an inspection team composed of officials from government agencies, namely, the Indigenous People’s Peace Panel of OPPAP, the Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples suddenly arrived in 10 luxury vehicles to allegedly investigate on the reports that the two schools are connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. It is, however, confounding that the investigation team was accompanied by the soldiers from the 401st IB who has been accused by the Lumad of committing serious human rights violations against them and members of the paramilitary group, Magahat-Bagani who killed ALCADEV’s executive director, Emerito Samarca and two Lumad leaders in 2015. According to the people, the investigating team did not really investigate but just parroted the same lies and accusations hurled by the military against the Lumad schools.

The “investigation” was part of the relentless vilification campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Lumad schools being led by its deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations, Major General Antonio Parlade Jr., who held a press conference in Butuan City immediately after the investigation accusing the two schools of being communist fronts without presenting any evidence. Instead, they presented two former teachers who were evidently forced to speak against the schools.

PNFSP would like to reiterate that Lumad schools are not communist fronts. They are academic institutions recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), working with government agencies and private institutions through social services, such as food security programs and education. These programs have been beneficial to the Lumad communities since their time of establishment, advancing the communities livelihood, where government services are lacking.

Let us remind the government and the military that education is a universal right and that what the Lumad schools are doing is not just for the realization of the right to education but also their right to food. They deserve recognition, not vilification because these schools were established by the Lumad themselves and operate through the efforts and cooperation of the communities, volunteer teachers, and development workers from the time of its establishment. These schools propagate sustainable agriculture and appropriate technology that are beneficial to the community and the environment, a social praxis that embraces the preservation of native culture and tradition against the pressures of modernization and commercialization. We have never doubted that the continuing harassment, vilification, and killings against the Lumad are connected to the government’s plan to open the whole Mindanao island to foreign investors. These two schools are located in the Andap Valley Complex, a landmark rich in mineral resources and has been the target of huge mining companies after President Rodrigo Duterte opened the area for explorations.

PNFSP declares support to the Lumad despite the shrinking democratic space for development work in the Philippines. PNFSP will continue to support their struggle to defend their ancestral lands and their right to education. ##

Reference:
Renmin Vizconde
Executive Director, PNFSP

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[In the news] ‘FABRICATED LIES’ | Lumad Group: Stop using Lumad to extend Martial Law -news.tv5.com.ph

‘FABRICATED LIES’ | Lumad Group: Stop using Lumad to extend Martial Law

December 8, 2018 – A group of Lumad students and teachers slammed on Saturday the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its “fabricated lies” in order to extend Martial Law in Mindanao.

In a statement, Save Our Schools (SOS) network said the AFP is “twisting the truth” to hide its real agenda to extend military rule over the region.

“The public should know that the AFP is the real terrorist and number one human rights and children’s rights violator!” Eule Rico Bonganay of SOS network and Salinlahi secretary general said.

It also pointed out that the group has documented 535 cases of attacks on Lumad schools under the Duterte administration’s martial law in Mindanao.

“The AFP keep on repeating lies just to make it the truth but the Filipino people are wiser than that. The Filipino public is not buying the AFP’s deviousness. They want us to veer away from their real agenda and that is to extend Martial law in Mindanao and continue with plundering Mindanao’s vast resources,” Bonganay added.

Read full article @news.tv5.com.ph

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[Press Release] To have IP rights in the BBL means inclusive peace, say Lumads -Loyukan

To have IP rights in the BBL means inclusive peace, say Lumads

Photo from Loyukan FB page

“To include non-Moro indigenous peoples rights in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) means inclusive peace, and a more lasting one,” says Titay Bleyen Santos Unsad, a Teduray leader from Upi, Maguindanao.

“Peace in Mindanao is a common aspiration of the Moro people and the non-Moro IPs. We have supported the struggle of our Muslim brothers and sisters for peace and development within our region. Their peace, is our peace. And that is why the BBL, to be truly a peace instrument, should also recognize the rights of the Teduray, Lambangian and other non-Moro indigenous peoples in Maguindanao,” adds Titay Bleyen Santos.

Titay Bleyen Santos Unsad is one of the 350 IP leaders who have been part of the Mindanao IP Legislative Assembly or MIPLA, which was convened by the Office of the Presidential Adviser to the Peace Process (OPAPP) last year. The MIPLA was mandated to draft specific proposed revisions to the BBL which would contain the IP agenda. The Assembly worked for 3 months, and came up with proposed revisions.

“We drafted proposed revisions to enhance the BBL, recognizing our rights to our ancestral domains, and our distinct identity as non-Moro IP rights. These were presented to the Congress,” according to Titay Bleyen Santos. “But now, all of these seem to be set aside in favor of the version from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), which prescribes that all peoples within the proposed Bangsamoro territory are all Bangsamoro. But we are not. We are Teduray, with our own ancestral domain, justice system, and governance. We are non-Moro indigenous peoples.”

The Congress plans to pass the proposed BBL before it adjourns on June 1, upon the urging of President Rodrigo Duterte. At the House of Representatives, the House Committees on Local Government, Muslim Affairs, and Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity approved House Bill No. 6475 or the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) without amendments last week. This did not sit well among some members of the House, who said that all the consultations and public hearings were rendered useless, as no revisions were entertained. The HB 6475 is the version submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). The same can be said with the Senate, when Senator Miguel Zubiri decided to author instead the BTC version. The interpellation of SB 1717, or the proposed BBL, is ongoing at the Senate.

“It’s true, that the BBL is long overdue. We have been part of the struggle, too. We have been attending congressional hearings, dialogues, public forums, to express our support to BBL, but also to say that an inclusive BBL is the only way to go to have an inclusive peace,” says Fintailan Leonora Mokudef. Fintailan is a title for a Teduray woman leader. “Indigenous Peoples in ARMM did not enjoy the rights provided by the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA). Recognition of our rights is also long overdue.”

The government of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) did not recognize IPRA, a national law, as applicable within its territory. Its applicability over the Bangsamoro Territory is one of the critical revisions that the IP leaders are pushing for. The IP leaders went to the Senate today to have dialogues with the Senators and to observe the plenary discussions of SB 1717, or the Senate version of the proposed BBL.

“The halls of the Senate are familiar now to us. We have been here before, during the Aquino administration lobbying for the inclusion of IP agenda in the BBL. We have allies then who seem to have changed their position,” observes Titay Bleyen Leticio Datuwata, a Lambangian leader, from South Upi, Maguindanao. “We just hope that there will still be a number of members of the Senate who believes in the pursuit of peace, and that peace should be for everyone – even us, non-Moro Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao.”

Titay Bleyen Santos, Fintailan Leonora and Titay Bleyen Leticio are all part of LOYUKAN, a common term among Central Mindanao Lumad to mean comrades. It is a coalition of IP leaders, Indigenous Political Structures, IP rights advocates, human rights organizations, and other members of the social movement who are all pushing for the full inclusion of the IP rights within the BBL.

For more information:
Mabel Carumba — 09998721405 / tubong.mindanao@gmail.com
Judy a. Pasimio — 09175268341 / judy@lilak.net

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[Appeal] Urgent call to resolve the recurring violation of the Lumad children’s right to education among Children in Situations with Armed Conflict -NGO Coalition CRC

An open letter to the President of the Philippines

HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO ‘NOYNOY’ AQUINO III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace

Dear President Aquino,

The Civil Society Coalition on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (NGO Coalition CRC) joins the urgent call to resolve the recurring violation of the Lumad children’s right to education among Children in Situations with Armed Conflict (CSAC) as enshrined in the United Nations on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Twenty-five years ago, the Philippine government ratified the CRC. As State Party to the Convention, the Philippine government reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN Committee) on its progress of implementation, gaps and achievements. The UN Committee provides recommendations after the review of the state report and published these as their ‘Concluding Observations.’ The recent Concluding Observations (2009) on the Philippines significantly cited the issue of lack of schools for indigenous communities and of teachers.

The Lumad people, with some support from church groups and various non-governmental organizations, set up schools to fill this gap.

However, the Children’s Rehabilitation Center has documented cases of attacks and/or use of public places (Barangay Halls, health centers and places of worship) for other purposes near these schools by state and non-state actors; thus, violating children and people’s rights. From July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2014, 52 cases were documented, directly affecting 2,697 children, as reported by the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns. Among the schools noted as targets were: the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Early Childhood Education School in Kalasagan, Davao Oriental; Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center in Compostela Town, Compostela Valley Province Province; Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center and Nasilaban Elementary School (a DepEd school) in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

Child rights organizations were able to document the following violations:

– attack on schools, religious, medical and in public places;
– and similar threats against child rights defenders and civil society support groups
Various indigenous communities in the abovementioned areas and the NGOs assisting them have expressed outrage and indignation over the violence launched in Lumad schools, and have called for the immediate cessation of these abuses/harms to protect the children and uphold their right to education.

Lumad children themselves have implored you, Mr. President, to protect their schools from harassment allegedly perpetrated by government forces, as reported in the Philippine Star on 12 October 2015, and their voices need to be heard.

Civil society initiatives in support of education for indigenous communities should be recognized by the government as a major contribution, and these efforts must be fully promoted and protected.

As a signatory to the CRC, the Philippine government has the responsibility to uphold, fulfill, respect and protect the rights of all Filipino children. Articles 28 and 36 specifically articulate the children’s right to education and their protection from any activity that could harm their welfare and development. Any aggression aimed at schools is a clear violation of the CRC. The UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, has underscored that schools and hospitals are zones of peace and any attack on these establishments is considered a grave violation and must be immediately arrested.
General Comment No. 1: The Aims of Education, adopted by the UN Committee highlights the role of the State in the child’s development, which includes “respect for human rights” and “an enhanced sense of identity and affiliation.”

In a statement on the issue of Lumad killings, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has also asserted state responsibility “where persons acting in behalf of the State commit some actionable wrong, and the State hesitates about acting or, worse, refuses to act.”

In solidarity with these principles, the Coalition urges the following courses of action:
– Uphold international and national laws that promote and protect child rights while addressing the gaps that these issues have magnified; among them, the need for a policy that explicitly demands the outright ban on military operations in schools in place of the existing Department of Education (DepEd) Memorandum 221 on the Guidelines on the Protection of Children During Armed Conflict issued in 2013; and the implementation of Republic Act. No. 8731 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in view of violations linked to development projects that allow mining and logging on ancestral lands.

– Immediately pull out military operations in affected areas and hold people who aggress against schools accountable for their offenses;
– Provide for the basic needs and extend psychosocial support to families who have fled their homes due to the violence in their communities and ensure their safe return to their ancestral lands;
– Provide access to education in far flung areas, where many children from indigenous communities reside;
– Sign the Safe Schools Declaration, a document which shows the commitment of countries to support the protection of students, teachers, and schools during times of armed conflict; and
– Ensure that the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use During Armed Conflict are followed.

We trust that the President, in the interest of human rights and good governance, will lead the way in compliance to this obligation.

Very truly yours,

Civil Society Coalition on the Convention on the Rights of the Child(NGO Coalition CRC)

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[Statement] On the killings of indigenous peoples in Lianga, Surigao del Sur -CTUHR

On the killings of indigenous peoples in Lianga, Surigao del Sur
September 3,2015

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights strongly condemns the brutal killings of Emerito Samarca, head of an alternative school (ALCADEV) for indigenous people, Dionel Campos and Bello Sinzo, both leaders of the Manobo tribe and an indigenous people’s (lumad)  organization, MAPASU (Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod). The killings perpetrated by suspected elements of the paramilitary group, Mahagat-Bagani happened between 4AM to 5AM of September 1 in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Elements of the 36th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army are also present in the said area.

CTUHR logo

The manner of ‘execution’ is appalling and hideous. Reports have come out that Campos and Sinzo were ‘executed’ in front of hundreds of community people who were roused from their sleep at 4AM of September 1 to witness the killing. Samarca was later found dead in one of the classrooms with a slit in his throat and stab in his stomach. The cruelty in the manner of killing the victims is characteristic of then notorious vigilante paramilitary groups like Alsa Masa, Ilaga in the 1970s to 1980s in Mindanao. These groups slaughter their targets and parade severed body parts of suspected rebels and sympathizers. It is equally reminiscent of the killings and torture inflicted upon activists and trade unionists by state security forces and vigilantes during the Marcos martial law years and the Cory Aquino administration. Clearly, the killings are meant not only to silence targeted individuals suspected as rebels or rebel-supporters.  It is also meant to ultimately sow fear in lumad communities, force them to flee, undermine their resistance against the intrusion of mining and plantation operations, and weaken their resolve to assert their right to self-determination.

We condemn these killings and many other human rights violations perpetrated by war-mongering Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and paramilitary groups that the AFP armed and cuddled.  The Aquino government has waged an all-out-war against the Filipino people especially the lumad communities. Under the pretext of counter-insurgency, over 50 battalions of AFP are deployed in the island of Mindanao to pave the way for and protect the expanding operations of the multinational mining and plantation companies committing human rights violations with impunity. The military also continues to hire and support paramilitary groups to divide the lumad communities creating internal strife between and among tribes and families.

The war for control over the rich natural resources of Mindanao facilitated by foreign investment-driven government economic policy has long-robbed the people of Mindanao, not just their resources, their  ancestral land, their culture, their peace,  but ultimately their lives. Moreover, the AFP has also encamped inside 146 schools of lumad communities initiated by various concerned institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs) who wanted to save and empower the lumad from government neglect. Thousands of children are affected. It is awfully ironic that teachers like Samarca are killed by state forces when the government itself has failed to provide education to poor and indigenous peoples.

The Aquino government continues to talk about peace, and does the opposite. The brutal killings of Samarca and two tribal leaders, are more than enough reason to say that genuine peace is clearly not in the government agenda.  The Aquino administration has also jeopardized peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF) by violating Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) by targeting non-combatants and civilian communities. At least 17 NDF consultants provided with Joint Agreement for Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) protection have been arrested and detained for false criminal charges. What peace can be talked about, if the people advocating for it are continually persecuted?

CTUHR is alarmed that as the Aquino administration sees its term ending on June 30, 2016, its commitment to crush insurgency through Oplan Bayanihan, by peaceful means or by force to safeguard the so-called  economic development achievement of his “daang matuwid”, human rights violations will continue to escalate. Mindanao will continue to be targeted as government road maps for so-called “sustained economic growth”  through TNCs driven-mining and plantation-agriculture are anchored on the plunder of island’s resources and will displace and dispossess primarily the island’s indigenous communities.

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights stands with the lumads and people of Mindanao for their fight against state terrorism, for genuine development and for self-determination. The Aquino government and the AFP should be brought to justice for its vicious and relentless crimes against the people.

Justice to Samarca, Campos, Sinzo and all victims of extra-judicial killings!
Stop the militarization of schools and communities in Mindanao!
Stop the Killings! End Oplan Bayanihan!

For reference: Daisy Arago, Executive Director, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, pie.ctuhr@gmail.com, +63.411.0256

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[Press Release] Senator Grace Poe promises to probe issues of non-moro IP rights in Bangsamoro Basic Law

Senator Grace Poe promises to probe issues of non-moro IP rights in Bangsamoro Basic Law

File Photo source: ATM. Photo courtesy of Joseph Purugganan/Focus on the Global South

File Photo source: ATM. Photo courtesy of Joseph Purugganan/Focus on the Global South

Manila – Non-moro Indigenous Peoples (IP) in the Bangsamoro, led by Timuay (local term for Teduray leader) Alim Bandara, did not leave empty handed in ‘Tapatan sa Aristocrat’ on Monday, when Senator Grace Poe said that she will study the merits of the IPs concerns in Mindanao and have it assessed for a senate inquiry for a possible senate hearing – a promising outcome of the 3-day activity of the various IP groups who are lobbying the full inclusion of their rights in the undergoing finalization of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

According to Senator Poe who confirmed that the law in question is still in the Office of the President and has not yet reached Congress, the passage of the BBL is a process that is being carefully deliberated especially to address concerns such as the IP rights. She also admitted that there are a lot of concerns to be settled in the Bangsamoro Basic Law especially in the case of ancestral domains.

Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CENPEG) Board Member Dr. Temario Rivera, also shared the same opinion as Poe, stating that there is in fact a clear need for a clearer status of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

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 the spokesperson of the non-moro IP groups in the ‘Tapatan sa Aristocrat’ forum, raised the issues of identity, ancestral domains, right to self-governance, protection of the non-moro IPs’ existing rights and their call for a more transparent review on the BBL.

According to Bandara, the final draft of the BBL that was submitted to the Office of the President was not shown to the non-moro IP groups, and thus leaving them blind on the provisions of IP rights included in the law.

“Ang misyong ito, kailangan namin [Makita ang draft ng BBL] sa Senado, sa Congress o sa House of Representatives, dahil alam namin na from the Office of the President, dadaanan ito dito. Yung mga kulang [na provisions], halimbawa yung mga hindi naisama na karapatan ng katutubo na nasa loob ng core area ay gusto naming maisama sa draft ng batas na ito na gagawin. (This mission is to ensure that we see the draft of the BBL in the Senate, or House of Representatives, because we know that this will pass through these offices after it has gone from the Office of the President. We want to include the provisions that are lacking in the draft of the law being finalized – for example, the rights of the IPs inside the core area.) said Bandara.

The core area that Bandara mentioned is the territories inside the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In a closing statement, Bandara stressed that they are not opposing the Bangsamoro Basic Law and that they have nothing against the peace process that they have continuously supported from the very beginning. He also said that their call is the full inclusion of the non-moro IP rights in the BBL; that the new legislation should not eradicate their identities and rights, but nurture and respect it instead.

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 23, 2014

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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

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] Forum: SOVEREIGNTY UNDER ATTACK US Troops Never Really Bid Goodbye -PCPR

Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR)

invites you to a forum:

SOVEREIGNTY UNDER ATTACK
US Troops Never Really Bid Goodbye

February 23, 2012 Thursday 2-5pm
Arnold Janssen Hall, Christ the King Seminary

Speaker: Mr. Arnold Padilla
Former Senior Researcher
IBON Foundation

[In the news] Army official accuses Lumads in Bukidnon of conniving with rebels- MindaNews

MindaNews » Army official accuses Lumads in Bukidnon of conniving with rebels.

By Walter I. Balane
February 3, 2012

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/2 Feb) – About 2,500 Lumads under 13 tribal leaders are working with the New People’s Army (NPA) in southern Bukidnon, the highest ranking military official here told the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Wednesday in his update on the military’s pursuit of the rebels.

Col. Romeo Gapuz, commander of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade based here, said the indigenous peoples serve as mass support for the rebels making it more difficult for the military to curb insurgency. But a tribal leader refuted Gapuz’s claim, saying the Lumads are only forced to deal with the rebels out of fear and because the government, the military and the police are simply not found in the hinterlands.

Gapuz cited a claim of a tribal chieftain in San Fernando town he named as Datu Onkit, who facilitated the surrender of former rebel Benjamin Salusad last year.

Salusad, along with 79 other alleged NPA members, surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion in Maramag town on Nov. 15. They turned in 25 high-powered firearms.

Only 31 of the surrenderees were said to be fulltime combatants and 49 were members of the Milisya ng Bayan (People’s Militia). Seventy of them were males. The surrenderees belong to the Tigwahanon, Matigsalug and Manobo tribes of the municipality of San Fernando.

Gapuz told the provincial board there are only about 60 to 80 armed rebels in southern Bukidnon under Guerilla Front 6 and Guerilla Front 53 of the NPA. He added that the Lumads serve as their mass base.

But board member Roelito Gawilan, a Matigsalug chieftain who represents the association of barangay councils in the board, refuted Gapuz’s pronouncement.

“The Lumads serve as no mass base for the rebels. They have no alliance with the NPA,” he said. The tribal leader stressed that the Lumads were forced to deal with the rebels only because the NPAs are the only ones who reach out to them in the remote areas.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[Statement] On the 40th Day of FR. FAUSTO TENTORIO’S DEATH

Promotion of Church People’s Response – Cebu
November 26, 2011

STATEMENT ON THE 40TH DAY OF FR. FAUSTO TENTORIO’S DEATH

“Violence and hate are always a defeat.”  These words of Pope Benedict XVI on April 6, 2011 we echo with great grief and indignation on this 40th day to remember the ruthless killing of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, PIME on October 17, 2011 by motorcycle-riding assassins.

The bold and ease in the execution of the crime and the consequent impunity of the murder of the Italian missionary, who was so vocal against the mining of the ancestral land of the Manobos of Arakan Valley, Cotabato and against the militarization of the areas of the indigenous peoples, tell us who the killers are and why the government authorities do not have a pointed response to this.

Today, there are more than 50 victims of extra-judicial killings in the Aquino regime and none of them are given justice. The perpetrators are scot-free, and, worst, some of these murderers are allegedly given honors and promotion.  The OPLAN Bayanihan of the government is not only co-opting the Church through the Church-Military Advisory Group (CMAG), Civic Action and Sports Program (e.g. Stola & Pistola Program) to win over the hearts of minds of the less-informed, it is also annihilating critics and oppositionists who are on the side of the marginalized and neglected indigenous peoples and the exploited poor people.

The officers and members of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) – Cebu denounce these acts of terror such as extra-judicial killings, disappearances, illegal arrests, torture, vilification and witch-hunting allegedly advocated by or perpetrated by some government authorities and agencies.

Moreover, PCPR-Cebu calls for justice to the extra-judicial killing of Fr. Tentorio and other church people such as of Fr. Cecilio Lucero, Bishop Alberto Ramento, Fr. Tulio Favali, Bro. Benjamin Bayles and the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR.  Let us denounce the neglect of indigenous peoples by the Philippine government. Let us open our eyes to the truth and work for peace based on justice.  Let us raise our voices in the words of the Lord Jesus who said, “You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you.” (Luke 13:34)

Rev. Jessie Primacio
Co-Chairperson
PCPR-Cebu
pcpr.cebu@gmail.com/ Cell No. 09176497714

Justice will bring about peace; justice will produce calm and security forever (Isaiah 32:17).”

Promotion of Church People’s Response – Cebu
November 26, 2011

STATEMENT ON THE 40TH DAY OF FR. FAUSTO TENTORIO’S DEATH

“Violence and hate are always a defeat.”  These words of Pope Benedict XVI on April 6, 2011 we echo with great grief and indignation on this 40th day to remember the ruthless killing of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, PIME on October 17, 2011 by motorcycle-riding assassins.

The bold and ease in the execution of the crime and the consequent impunity of the murder of the Italian missionary, who was so vocal against the mining of the ancestral land of the Manobos of Arakan Valley, Cotabato and against the militarization of the areas of the indigenous peoples, tell us who the killers are and why the government authorities do not have a pointed response to this.

Today, there are more than 50 victims of extra-judicial killings in the Aquino regime and none of them are given justice. The perpetrators are scot-free, and, worst, some of these murderers are allegedly given honors and promotion.  The OPLAN Bayanihan of the government is not only co-opting the Church through the Church-Military Advisory Group (CMAG), Civic Action and Sports Program (e.g. Stola & Pistola Program) to win over the hearts of minds of the less-informed, it is also annihilating critics and oppositionists who are on the side of the marginalized and neglected indigenous peoples and the exploited poor people.

The officers and members of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) – Cebu denounce these acts of terror such as extra-judicial killings, disappearances, illegal arrests, torture, vilification and witch-hunting allegedly advocated by or perpetrated by some government authorities and agencies.

Moreover, PCPR-Cebu calls for justice to the extra-judicial killing of Fr. Tentorio and other church people such as of Fr. Cecilio Lucero, Bishop Alberto Ramento, Fr. Tulio Favali, Bro. Benjamin Bayles and the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR.  Let us denounce the neglect of indigenous peoples by the Philippine government. Let us open our eyes to the truth and work for peace based on justice.  Let us raise our voices in the words of the Lord Jesus who said, “You kill the prophets, you stone the messengers God has sent you.” (Luke 13:34)

Rev. Jessie Primacio
Co-Chairperson
PCPR-Cebu
pcpr.cebu@gmail.com/ Cell No. 09176497714

“Justice will bring about peace; justice will produce calm and security forever (Isaiah 32:17).”

————

Promotion of Church People’s Response – Cebu

November 26, 2011

PAMAHAYAG SA IKA-40 KA ADLAW SA KAMATAYON NI FR. FAUSTO TENTORIO, PIME

“Ang kabangis ug kayugot maghatod kanunay ngadto sa kapildihan.”  Kining mga pulong ni Papa Benedicto XVI niadtong Abril 6, 2011,  among subling gisangyaw uban sa tumang kasubo ug pagpanghimaraot,  niining ika-40 ka adlaw sa paghandom sa way kukaluoy nga pagpatay kang Padre Fausto ”Pops” Tentorio, PIME niadtong Oktobre 17, 2011.

Ang wala’y kukahadlok ug ang kasayon sa pagbuhat sa maong krimen ug ang kawala’y hustisya sa kamatayon sa usa ka misyonaryo nga Italyano, kinsa hugot nga misulti batok sa pagmina sa kayutaan sa mga katigulangan sa mga Manobo didto sa Arakan Valley, Cotabato, ug kinsa mibatok sa militarisasyon sa lugar sa mga lumad, nagatug-an kanato kon kinsa ang matuod nga mamumuno ug nganong ang mga awtoridad sa pangagamhanan wala’y gitumbok nga responsable niini.

Niining higayona, aduna na’y kapin sa 50 ka mga biktima sa extra-judicial killings sa rehimeng Aquino ug wala’y usa kanila nga nahatagan og hustisya.  Ang mga mamumuno nagpabiling gawasnon.  Ang labing sakit nga palandungon mao nga ang pipila niining maong mga mamumuno matod pa, gipasidunggan ug giisa pa ang ilang ranggo.

Ang OPLAN Bayanihan sa pangagamhanan wala lang magpugong sa simbahan pinaagi sa Church Military Advisory Group (CMAG), Civic Action and Sports Program (e.g. Stola ug Pistola Program) aron pagkabig sa mga kasingkasing ug hunahuna sa mga kulang sa inpormasyon,  kini usab nag-atake sa mga kritiko ug mga oposisyonista kinsa midapig sa mga hinikalimtan nga mga lumad ug sa uban pang mga linupigang kabos nga katawhan.

Ang mga opisyales ug mga sakop sa Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR)-Cebu, nanghimaraot niining mga kalihukan sa pagpanghadlok: extra-judicial killings, pugos nga pagwagtang, ilegal nga pag-aresto, tortyor, mga pagpangdaot ug pagpanggukod nga matod pa gipaluyohan sa pipila ka mga awtoridad sa panggamhanan ug mga ahensya niini. Dugang pa, ang PCPR- Cebu nanawagan alang sa hustisya sa pagpatay kang Padre Tentorio ug sa extra- judicial killings  batok nila ni Fr. Cecilio Lucero, Bishop Alberto Ramento, Fr. Tulio Favali, Bro. Benjamin Bayles ug sa pagkawagtang ni Fr. Rudy Romano, CSsR.

Atong panghimaraoton ang kawala’y pagtagad sa pangagamhanan sa Pilipinas ngadto sa mga lumad. Atong buksan ang atong mga mata sa kamatuoran ug molihok kita alang sa kalinaw nga nagasukad sa kaangayan. Atong iisa ang atong mga tingog uban sa mga pulong ni Hesus nga nag-ingon, “Imong gipamatay ang mga propeta ug gibato ang mga sinugo nga gipadala sa Dios kanimo.” (Luke 13:34)

Rev. Jessie Primacio

PCPR-Cebu Co-Chairperson

pcpr.cebu@gmail.com/ Cell No. 09176497714

“Ang hustisya magdala og kalinaw; ang hustisya mobunga sa kabugnaw ug kasegurohan sa kahangtoran.”(Isaias 32:17)

[From the web] HK human rights groups protest extra judicial killings in PHL- cbcponlineradio.com

HK human rights groups protest extra judicial killings in PHL

MANILA, Nov. 5, 2011—Hong Kong’s human rights groups held a picket in front of Philippine Consulate General to protest the murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME and the rising cases of extra judicial killings in the Philippines.

The HK Committee for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) HK chapter have expressed alarm on the increasing number of human rights advocates being killed in the country.

Expressing their solidarity with their compatriots, the HK groups slammed the culture of impunity that victimized those who take the cause of the marginalized, like Fr. Tentorio.

“The culture of impunity persists and yet again victimized another man of the Church whose devotion the cause of the Lumad in Mindanao, the poor, and the Filipino people has been unflappable. Like that of all others before him, Fr. Tentorio’s death needs for immediate justice,” said Joram Calimutan of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and a member of the Executive Committee of PCPR-HK.

The groups handed to the consulate a letter signed by 19 Religious leaders, Churches and Church-related groups expressing their condemnation on the killing of Fr. Tentorio and other activists.

Local and migrant workers organizations and a Hong Kong legislator also endorsed the statement.

Read full article @ cbcponlineradio.com

[Appeal] Signature Campaign – JUSTICE FOR FR. TENTORIO, END IMPUNITY NOW

Dear Peace Advocates,

Greetings of peace!

We are enjoining you to sign this statement (attached and included below) to support the call for justice for Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio. We hope to publicize this statement between November 17 (the first month after Fr. Tentorio’s killing) and November 23 (the International Day to End Impunity as declared by the International Federation of Journalists). Thank you very much.

For peace and justice,

End Impunity National Secretariat

JUSTICE FOR FR. TENTORIO, END IMPUNITY NOW

We grieve and mourn for the death of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, a dedicated and selfless Italian Roman Catholic missionary who served the Filipino farmers and indigenous peoples in Mindanao for 32 years. Fr. Tentorio was the parish priest of the Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Arakan Town, North Cotabato, Mindanao. He was the Director of the Tribal Filipino Program of the Archdiocese of Kidapawan and a very active board member of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.

Read more

[People] The Example of True Friendship by Fr. Shay Cullen

The Example of True Friendship
(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

The life and death of Father Fausto Tentorio (59) is not going to be forgotten. Filipinos and many others will continue to recall and celebrate his steadfast solidarity, commitment and dedication to the downtrodden ingenious people. The Lumad people of Mindanao are victims of exploitation, discrimination and man made poverty for the past fifty years. The onslaught of mining in the area of North Cotobato, Mindanao brought a response from the church, and Father Tentorio took a stand with the indigenous people to help them protect their ancestral domain and human rights from the loggers, land grabbers and mining corporations.

His fellow Italian missionary Tuilo Favali was also murdered by assassins in 1985, for his heroic efforts to stand with the people to protect the environment from the insatiable appetites of the rich and wealthy logging corporations and big business interests backed by the dynastic families that still rule the Philippines with private armies from the congress to the countryside. In the case of Fr. Favali the killers were found and arrested and sentenced to twenty years, but the masterminds that steered them to their target and paid them were known but never named.

In the murder of Father “Pops”, as he was fondly called, the mining interests in the area that desire the ancestral lands of the tribal Filipinos in order to exploit the mineral wealth will not be blamed. While fingers may be pointed at Philippine military it is more likely that the hired killer that parked his motor bike outside the house of father Pops on the morning of October 17, walked up to him and shot him point blank as he was getting into his car, had the mark of an experienced trained assassin.

These killers are known to be former members of the military or police, fired out for one reason or another, or charged with a crime and then either work for private security companies founded by retired military or police officers, or are killers for hire. The Sagittarius Mining company has a huge controversial project that the people and the diocese of Kidapawan vigorously oppose. The Company stated in a half page newspaper advertisement recently that they respect the rights of the people, the environment and had nothing whatsoever to do with the killing of Father Tentorio. But what about their private security company?

Hundreds of people marched with the funeral cortege carrying flags and banners, one read; “Justice for Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, PIME. A Missionary Martyr for the Poor and the Landless”.

Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez in a radio broadcast advised President Aquino not to allow mining in areas where there is opposition to it. The parish of Fr. Pops in the beautiful scenic Arakan Valley was the target of the mining corporation and he helped organize and empower the people to be unafraid to object to the threatened takeover of their lands. The Bishop of Marabel in Cotobato, said “Maybe because of that he was killed”. He had received death threats but did not take them seriously, parish workers said. Despite the danger and the threats he stood his ground with the people and lived on with them working for justice.

So too have many others of different faiths taken their stand in the streets against tyrants and tyranny and have risked their lives and lost them in protesting against evil regimes and injustice and working for a just society.

Thousands of committed Christians, missionaries – lay and ordained, men and women around the world have taken on the true mission of the gospel of Jesus of Nazareth and they stand up for the poor and serve them as “washers of feet”, as good shepherds who lay down their lives for their people. They call them friends as did Jesus giving us an example as to what love and friendship really is; asking no reward and working for justice to the end even if it comes by an assassin’s bullet or crucifixion.

When Jesus had that last meal of friendship with his disciples he knew what would happen to him and so he left that simple meal as a reminder of his friendship and his mission, “Do this in memory of me”. So too we remember Fr. Tentorio. He has joined that band of brothers and sisters who gave their lives, bravely and courageously, as an example for the rest of us. END

[In the news] Bukdinon Lumad farmers decry killing of Higaonon farmer – www.mindanews.com

Bukdinon Lumad farmers decry killing of Higaonon farmer
By Keith Bacongco

Early in the morning of  Thursday, September 1, residents near the regional office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) along the corner of Tiano and Del Pilar Streets in Cagayan de Oro City were caught by surprise upon seeing a coffin displayed by the side of the road.

It wasn’t one of those fake coffins commonly used by demonstrators signifying the death of democracy or some other ideals; it was one real coffin with one real corpse inside, that of Welcie Gica, a Higaonon farmer allegedly killed by one of the security guards of a big ranch in Maramag, Bukidnon owned by the Villalon family, the patriarch of whom was former mayor of neighboring Kibawe town.

Near the coffin sat Rosita Gica, grieving the loss of  her son.

Welcie’s colleagues, all members of the Panalsalan Dagumbaan Tribal Association (PADATA), brought his body to the NCIP because they accused the government office of honoring what they called a fake free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from another tribal group that eventually led to the Villalons’ occupation of the ranch instead of the Higaonons owning the lands they had been tilling for long.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[Event/Reactions] Indigenous women on PNoy’s SONA

INDIGENOUS WOMEN ON PNOY’S SONA

TERESA, Sambal, 40 years old (Cabangan, Zambales)

Nakakainsulto na nagpapalakpakan sila dun sa kongreso para sa CCT/PPPP, samantalang kami na pinakamahirap sa mahihirap, ni hindi naabutan nito. (Conditional Cash Transfer/Pangtawid Programa para sa Pamilya Pilipino)

Wala man lang pagbanggit kahit isa sa mga indigenous peoples; wala man lang pagbanggit sa mga karahasan na nararanasan ng mga katutubo, lalo pa’t katutubong kababaihan.

Walang pagbanggit sa pagprotekta sa kalikasan.

Walang pagbanggit sa MINING, samantalang ito ang isa sa mga sumisira sa aming kalikasan, sa aming kabuhayan.

Jennifer, Manobo, 30 years old (Cantilan, Surigao del Sur) – Binoto ko sya, umasa ako. Pero di ko naramdaman ang pagbabago. Nasan ang pagbabago? Araw araw pa rin naming nararamdaman ang diskriminasyon bilang babaeng katutubo; ni hindi kami makapag-rent ng apartment sa syudad pagka nalamang kami ay Manobo. Hirap kaming makapasok sa mga paaralan.

Sobrang nakakalugkot, dahil umasa ako sa kanya, at sa kanyang pangakong pagbabago.  Pero maski pala sa SONA nya, may diskriminasyon. Ni hindi man lang nya kami nabanggit, wala talaga sa isip nya ang kahit anong patungkol sa amin tulad ng usaping lupa.

LETICIA, Aeta, 50 years old (Botolan, Zambales) – Ni hindi man lang nya kami nabanggit, kaming katutubo. ANG PILIPINAS AY

SA AKIN, SA ATIN. ALAM BA NYA ITO? Pinagmamalaki nya ang isang daan na pinagawa nya sa Laguna. Pilipinas na ba ang Laguna? Dapat lawakan naman  nya ang pagtingin nya.

Kaming mga Aeta, nang pumutok ang Mt. Pinatubo, kami ay napilitang lumikas sa ibang lugar. Ayaw ko nang mangyari ito sa iba pang lugar, napakahirap. Kaya sana, piliin ni Pnoy ang mga proyekto nya, na dapat ay di nakakasir a sa kalikasan, at nakakaapekto sa mga katutubo.  Magkaisa tayong hadlangan ang pagpahintulot ng mga mapanirang proyekto.

Alma, 25 years old, Mamanwa, Cortes, Surigao del Sur

(In Bisaya) Hindi man ako nakapag-aral, at kahit tagalog man ang salita nya, naintindihan ko na wala kami sa SONA nya. Ang narinig ko ay ang mga malalapit sa kusina, at sa bulsa nya ang malapit sa puso nya at sila  lang ang kaniyang natutulungan.  Sa lahat ng mahihirap, ang mga tribo ang pinaka mahirap. At sa lahat ng mga tribo, ang mga Mamanwa ang pinaka mahirap. Kami sana ang masama sa mga programa ni Pnoy. Pero maski sa 4P’s o CCT, dagdag na pahirap sa amin, dahil sa hirap ng pagkuha, mabagal, at di regular.

Sa lugar namin, madami ang gustong pumasok na mga mining companies. Pero kahit mahirap kami, hindi kami papayag na papasok ang mga companya sa amin, dahil masira ang aming bundok, masira ang aming koprahan, at ito lamang ang aming pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan.

At sana, marinig at makita kami ni Pnoy, kaming mga tribong Mamanwa, na naghihirap, at kami’y kanyang matulungan.


Nanay REMEDIOS, 77 years old, Buki-non/Negros Oriental – Huwag tayong umiyak! Nasa atin ang lakas! Tayo ang gumawa ng pagbabago. Pag-isipan natin kung pano natin isusulong ang pagbabago!


Conchita, 44 years old, Alangan- Mangyan/Naujan, Mindoro Oriental tumigil na daw ang paggamit ng wangwang sa lahat ng ahensya. Pero tayong mga katutubong kababaihan, kailangan natin ng malaking WANG-WANG! Para marinig nya tayo at malaman nya ang tunay na kalagayan nating mga kababaihan!

(from the State of the Indigenous Peoples’ Address  July 23-28, 2011 / Marbel, South Cotabato)

Quotes compiled and photos by:

Judy a. pasimio / LRC-KsK

judy.pasimio@lrcksk.org

[In the news] Army major assaults Bicol journalist – NUJP – Interaksyon.com

Army major assaults Bicol journalist – NUJP – Interaksyon.com.

MANILA, Philippines – An Army major allegedly assaulted a journalist in Camarines Sur province who had requested soldiers who were blocking a road while doing their exercises to give way to traffic, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines reported Thursday.

An alert issued by the media organization said Arnel Eclarinal, a news producer for GMA TV7-Naga was on a motorcycle with a cousin when they came across troops of the 9th Infantry Division who were occupying both lanes of the road while jogging in Barangay Caroyroyan, Pili town.

When Eclarinal asked some of the soldiers to occupy only one lane of the road so traffic could pass, one of the troops reportedly swore at him and said he and other motorists should wait until they were done.

Read full article @ InterAksyon.com

[In the news] Children and schools caught in Philippine conflicts, and the UN is concerned about AFP tactics – Interaksyon.com

Children and schools caught in Philippine conflicts, and the UN is concerned about AFP tactics – Interaksyon.com.

Carlos H. Conde, InterAksyon.com


MANILA, Philippines – The soldiers descended on the Lumad (tribal) villages of Lianga where, according to human rights and tribal groups, they put up checkpoints that restricted the movement of residents and imposed a blockade that severely constrained the food supply to the communities.

The militarization of the villages in Lianga and two other towns of Surigao del Sur, in the southern Philippines, in 2008 and 2009 also forced hundreds of villagers to evacuate.

The children at two schools specially built for the Manobo tribe – the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development and the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur – suffered the most as a result of the militarization, according to advocacy groups. Because of the food blockade, children went to school on empty or half-empty stomachs. Worse, classes had to be suspended.

Soldiers also descended on the school itself, where they supposedly harassed and taunted students and teachers, according to a report first published in the online news site Bulatlat.com. Worse, the military branded the two schools, which have won recognition from the government and are run by a Lumad organization called Mapasu with the cooperation of the local Catholic diocese and the NGO Sildap, “communist fronts.”

What happened to the two tribal schools are emblematic – and in some sense an extreme case study – of a phenomenon in the Philippines and elsewhere of government and rebel forces occupying schools, disrupting not only the learning process of the students, but the lives of whole communities as well.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, in an annual report on children and armed conflict he delivered to the UN Security Council and made public Thursday, revealed that 15 of the 22 “country situations” the UN monitored involved attacks on schools and hospitals.

“I am concerned about the increasing trend of attacks on schools and hospitals,” Ban said in the report.

His special representative on children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, said “2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world.”

A statement on the report released by Coomaraswamy’s office said “direct and physical damage to schools seems to be the most reoccurring violation, but there are also reported incidents of closure of schools and hospitals as a result of direct threats and intimidation, military occupation. Schools are often used as recruiting groups for children.”

The Philippines stands out in the report because, unlike other countries where insurgents are the ones attacking schools, soldiers are the worst violators, according to the UN report.

Read full article @ InterAksyon.com

[In the news] AFP stands out in UN chief’s report for violating children’s rights – Interaksyon.com

AFP stands out in UN chief’s report for violating children’s rights – Interaksyon.com.

Carlos H. Conde

MANILA, Philippines – The soldiers descended on the Lumad (tribal) villages of Lianga where, according to human rights and tribal groups, they put up checkpoints that restricted the movement of residents and imposed a blockade that severely constrained the food supply to the communities.

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy listens to a presentation by AFP Human Rights Office chief Col. Domingo Tutaan. A report delivered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the UN Security Council singled out the Philippines, noting that, unlike other countries where insurgents attack schools, here the military was the main perpetrator of such violations. (courtesy of UN). InterAksyon.com

The militarization of the villages in Lianga and two other towns of Surigao del Sur, in the southern Philippines, in 2008 and 2009 also forced hundreds of villagers to evacuate.

The children at two schools specially built for the Manobo tribe – the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development and the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur – suffered the most as a result of the militarization, according to advocacy groups. Because of the food blockade, children would go to school on empty or half-empty stomachs. Worse, classes had to be suspended.

Soldiers also descended on the school itself, where they would harass and taunt students and teachers, according to a report first published in the online news site Bulatlat.com. Worse, the military branded the two schools, which have won recognition from the government and are run by a Lumad organization called Mapasu with the cooperation of the local Catholic diocese and the NGO Sildap, “communist fronts.”

What happened to the two tribal schools are emblematic – and in some sense an extreme case study – of a phenomenon in the Philippines and elsewhere of government and rebel forces occupying schools, disrupting not only the learning process of the students, but the lives of whole communities as well.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, in an annual report on children and armed conflict he delivered to the UN Security Council and made public Thursday, revealed that 15 of the 22 “country situations” the UN monitored involved attacks on schools and hospitals.

“I am concerned about the increasing trend of attacks on schools and hospitals,” Ban said in the report.

Read full article @ InterAksyon.com

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