BAGUIO CITY (December 10, 2018) – Abuses versus Filipino indigenous
peoples continue from North to South, indigenous peoples under Katribu
Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu) said on
Monday at the celebration of International Human Rights Day.

“Our ancestral lands and resources are under attack. True to his
public pronouncement in February, Duterte has been aggressively
peddling our ancestral lands to foreign corporations and local big
businesses in the pretense of ending the poverty of indigenous
peoples,” young Igorot Pya Macliing Malayao said. She is Katribu’s
secretary general.

Malayao said that 230 approved mining applications are encroaching
over 500,000 hectares of ancestral lands highlighting Monday the New
Clark City (NCC), a priority in the present administration’s ‘Build
Build Build,’ covers more than 9,400 hectares of lands and allegedly
encroaches the ancestral territories of the Ayta in Pampanga and
Tarlac.

Aside from energy and coal projects favoring energy cartels, dam and
energy projects in other ancestral territories are being pushed like
the Agus-Pulangi dams in Bukidnon and North Cotabato; Balog-balog Dam
in the Ayta lands Tarlac, Ilaguen Dam in Isabela, Diduyon Dam, Jalaur
Multi-Purpose Project, and Pan-ay River Basin Integrated Development
Project in the Tumandok lands in Ilo-ilo and Capiz; Alimit Hydro
Complex of the SN Aboitiz in Ifugao; Karayan Dam in Kalinga; Dupinga
Dam in Nueva Ecija; Sumag River Diversion Tunnel in Quezon; and
another China ODA Dam of the Violago Olympia Power in Rizal. These
dams are said to displace more than 100,000 indigenous peoples from at
least 106 villages.

“These so-called development projects have been declared without
genuine consent nor decision of the indigenous peoples. The Duterte
regime violates our inherent and prior right to ancestral land and
self-determination,” Malayao claimed.

She added that while the lives of our future generations are under
threat because of so-called ‘development’ projects, our people who are
the defenders of the land are being attacked under Duterte’s
nationwide all-out war and Martial Law in Mindanao. In an awful
attempt to disunite and further terrorize us, Duterte supports the
proliferation of at least 20 paramilitary groups in Mindanao alone.

From July 2016 to October 2018, Katribu claimed to have monitored and
documented the following human rights violations against indigenous
communities: 54 IP victims of extra-judicial killings by state armed
forces, state-sponsored paramilitary groups and security forces of
landlords. Fourty-three (43) of whom are Lumad activists and
indigenous peoples in Mindanao, and 26 have been accused of being
members or supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA); 67 incidents of
forced evacuation due to military operations affecting over 6,000
families and nearly 30,000 indigenous peoples; at least 56 Lumad
schools have been forced to close down since the implementation of
Martial Law in Mindanao; one hundred eighty two (182) indigenous
peoples have been illegally arrested, and from October 2017 to August
2018; at least 61 indigenous peoples have been slapped with trumped
up criminal charges such as – illegal possession of firearms and
frustrated murder; and thirty-nine (39) IP political prisoners still
languish in jail, 21 of them were illegally arrested under the Duterte
administration.

“These human rights violations taking place in the context of the
continuing violations of our socio-economic and cultural rights are
ethnocidal to the indigenous peoples. We have no choice but to resist
this regime that threaten our very existence. So we continue our
struggle for our ancestral lands and self-determination, and join the
wider Filipino against this fascist plunderer regime,” Malayao said.

Protest actions in Cagayan, Cordillera, Metro Manila, Central Luzon,
Southern Luzon, Panay, Negros, Caraga, Davao, SOCSKSARGEN, and
Northern Mindanao are ongoing Monday citing Katribu’s
documentations.***Artemio A. Dumlao***