Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines

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For the benefit of Lumad Children in the Philippines: A Fundraising Dinner

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Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP – UK) is a non-profit organisation and has been promoting Filipino-British solidarity since 2006. It was established in response to the increasing number of political killings and human rights abuses taking place in the Philippines.

Now on its 10th year, CHRP UK is proud to organise its first ever fundraising dinner. This event is for the benefit of the Lumad children and will feature Filipino dishes cooked by Chef Mae Williams of Pepes Kitchen (pepes-kitchen.org.uk)

Over the past 4 years, CHRP UK has been actively supporting the campaign by the Lumad community against mining companies which have aggressively been destroying the land and livelihood of many of the indigenous people. The massive militarisation and companies’ aggression against the indigenous communities have also resulted in the disruption of the Lumad children’s education and many of them grow up without adequate  education.

All profit from the event will go towards the building of two classrooms, purchasing books and school supplies.

YOU CAN NOW BOOK YOUR TICKETS VIA EDIBLE EXPERIENCES

June 1, 2016   No Comments

PHILIPPINES: Indigenous villagers flee their home due to militarization

From: AHRC Urgent Appeals [mailto:listadmin@ahrchk.net]
Sent: Friday, 22 July 2016 5:34 p.m.
Subject: PHILIPPINES: Indigenous villagers flee their home due to militarization

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-095-2016

22 July 2016
——————————————————
PHILIPPINES: Indigenous villagers flee their home due to militarization

ISSUES: Military, Right to life, Indigenous people
——————————————————

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply concerned about the continued harassment of the Lumad community by members of the 58th Infantry Battalion in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental. The villagers decided to leave their homes because they are always harassed in the conflict between the military and the rebels. Often, they are accused as being members of the rebel group.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by the Katungod Lumad Alert)

On 5 June 2016, 45 Higaonon families comprising 217 individuals decided to leave their homes in Sitio Camansi, Barangay Banglay in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental and take refuge at the gym of the Municipality of Lagonglong due to heavy military presence.

The 13 fully armed officers of the 58th Infantry Battalion arrived in the community and at lunch time they called a meeting informing about their house to house activity. The military forces told the villagers that they need to share their problems and they will relay it to the president. The villagers told the military officers that they will present their problem but the military officers insisted to make a house to house visit and stay in the community for two weeks.

The community raised their concern that they would be put in danger should their ‘enemies’ attack them. They would also fear going to their farms, which are some distance from their homes, as they might either be caught in a crossfire or be accused of being a member of the rebel group. They have already heard of civilians being accused in nearby communities, detained and tortured by the military.

The residents also pointed out that last year, after they evacuated several times because of military operations, they already reached an agreement with Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division, stipulating that the military should camp 500-1000 meters away from their community and not within their center. They also said that the military did not have to conduct a census as the residents there were registered voters and this is done by a different government agency. Despite the refusal of the people, the military went house to house to at least four houses. They also continuously asked the villagers to turn over their fire arms despite their denial of having any.

On June 5 at 3 p.m., they started to walk to Sitio Kawali of Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag. Some distance away from their homes, they heard gunfire but did not turn to see if they were the targets or if there was an armed encounter in their community. They arrived in Sitio Kawali at 6 p.m., tired and hungry. At 11 p.m., two dump trucks arrived from the provincial government unit to fetch the Higaonon evacuees and bring them to the gym for the temporary shelter and food.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the case.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-095-2016

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

Philippines: Indigenous villagers flee their home due to militarization

Name of victims:
217 Higaonon individuals
Name of Alleged Perpetrator:
58th Infantry Batallion
Date of incident: 5 June 2016
Place of Incident: Sitio Camansi, Brgy. Banglay in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental

I am writing to express my serious concerns regarding the harassment of Higaonon people by the military presence in Mindanao.

On 5 June 2016, 45 Higaonon families comprising 217 individuals decided to leave their homes in Sitio Camansi, Brgy. Banglay in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental and take refuge at the Provincial gym due to heavy military presence.

The military officers of 58th Infantry Battalion called a meeting of the Lumad villagers informing that they will do house to house activities for two weeks and each family should share their problems and they would relay it to the president.

Earlier, the Lumad villagers had an agreement with Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division, stipulating that the military should camp 500-1000 meters away from their community and not within their center and ask permission from the Higaonon before entering their territory, but the military officers did not follow the agreement.

On that day, at 3 p.m. the Lumad villagers started to walk distance away from their houses to seek safety and shelter away from the military forces for fear of further harassment and involvement if there is any encounter between the military and the rebels group.

I urge you to conduct an immediate and impartial investigation into this matter. As you are aware, the indigenous Blaans are considered vulnerable groups requiring state protection. Those involved in threatening and forcing confessions from the villagers must be identified and prosecuted for their criminal acts.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

Yours sincerely,

——————————

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: info@dnd.gov.ph

4. Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 521-1614

5. Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
2/F N. dela Merced Bldg. corner West &
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Tel: +63 8373-9942
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Visit our website with more features at www.humanrights.asia.

You can make a difference. Please support our work and make a donation here.

—————————–

Asian Human Rights Commission

G/F

52 Princess Margaret Road

Ho Man Tin, Kowloon

Hongkong S.A.R.

Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367

Web: www.humanrights.asia

twitter/youtube/facebook: humanrightsasia

July 22, 2016   No Comments

CHRP General Meeting and the Celebration dates

We are making the day of CHRP General Meeting different from the celebration:

1. CHRP General Meeting

https://doodle.com/poll/2vt5hfwznirgms44

2. Celebration and BBQ. Susan is kindly hosting in their garden. Suggested date is 3 September

https://doodle.com/poll/aiyb3re2bxih9z7x

Please let us know if you can make it.

Many thanks,

CHRP Secretariat

July 22, 2016   No Comments

Global rights group denounce GMA acquittal, injustice

PRESS RELEASE

20 July 2016

Reference:

Rev. Rex R.B. Reyes Jr.
Mobile number: 0917-475-6217
www.humanrightsphilippines.net

https://www.facebook.com/ICHRPhilippines/

Global rights group denounce GMA acquittal, injustice

DAVAO – International delegates coming from several international solidarity missions in the Philippines today decry the Supreme Court’s dismissal of plunder charges filed against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the elation of the current presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza on the ruling.

Dureza, a former Cabinet and press secretary of the Arroyo administration, said he was elated by the high court’s ruling.

“This is a grave injustice to the Filipino people. Former Pres. Aquino filed weak cases against GMA in the first place. What is surprising is that current peace adviser Jesus Dureza is overjoyed about the injustice and virtually slurs the thousands of victims of rights violations under Arroyo,” spokesperson for the International Conference for People’s Rights in the Philippines (ICPRP), Rev. Rex R.B. Reyes, Jr., said.

Former Pres. Arroyo has been criticized by international groups not only for plunder but also for grave people’s rights violations during her nine-year rule with Oplan Bantay Laya I & II. She is accountable for the extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, illegal detention, torture, militarization and displacement of entire communities, and wholesale plunder of the country’s economy and resources.

“Is Dureza happy that her former boss can go away scot-free for crimes against the people? That is no way to pursue a just and lasting peace in the country as violations continue unabated. It’s a shame to the world,” Rev. Reyes added.

Over 200 people’s rights advocates from 25 countries are meeting in Davao City over the coming weekend for the ICPRP. They are supportive of the resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to address the roots of the armed conflict in the country.

Rev. Reyes is a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and Chair of the Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (Ecumenical Voice), a co-convenor of the ICPRP.

July 20, 2016   No Comments

CHRP UK Fundraising success! Let’s meet and celebrate.

Mon 17:06

CHRP UK (CHRP-UK@yahoogroups.com);
+1 more

Dear all,

First, congratulations to everyone for a successful fundraiser on 9 July. We are currently tallying all expenses and income. Those who were disbursed monies and have pending claim for expenses – could you please submit your claim and/or receipts for accounting to finance@chrp.org.uk asapn (if you have not already done so)?

We will have the final accounting ready for the next meeting. Offhand, we seem to have reached our 2k target goal!

Second, It was suggested that we meet to celebrate with all the volunteers and friends who have been involved in the fundraising event. Perhaps a weekend BBQ?

Next, we need to decide how much we are sending to RMP and how much we are contributing to our official delegates (Rommel & Dara) who are now currently attending the human rights conference and ISM in Mindanao. They are kindly requesting to be reimbursed for the conference fees (which includes food, lodging and conference materials), ISM and other related costs. They will shoulder their respective international flights. Anyways, just a heads up as I’m sure they will keep all receipts for discussion on our next meeting.

Last, finding dates for the party and next meeting. Should we find dates in August for when the conference delegates are due back. So, if we want to hit two birds with one stone, we could find a schedule (and a host, anyone willing to host???!) on a Saturday (or Sunday?) as our bbq-cum-meeting:

Suggested dates:

6 or 7 Aug

13 or 14 Aug

27 Aug

If a weekday at 6pm would be more suitable for folks (and we can then go to our favourite sushi bar afterwards, hehe!), then I suggest the following dates:

9, 10 or 11 August

I look forward to your replies.

Best,

RJ

Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines CHRP UK
c/o Indigenous Peoples Links, Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road

London N4 2DA

W: www.chrp.org.uk

E: info@chrp.org.uk

T: 0207 263 1002

July 19, 2016   No Comments

A Chance for Peace: Supporting the Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

Dear friends, activists and advocates,

Our apologies for cross-posting.

The IPMSDL International Coordinating Committee recently approved a statement entitled “A Chance for Change.” The statements talks about the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The civil war in the Philippines has resulted in the death of over 40,000 individuals since 1968. This death toll includes thousands of indigenous peoples in the country. Hundreds of thousands more have been forced to flee their homes time and again due to this war.

We believe the peace process, which the new Philippine president Duterte has vowed will include indigenous peoples, will give our brothers and sisters in the Philippines breathing space and, should a peace agreement be reached, will be beneficial to Indigenous and non-indigenous Peoples alike in the country.

We encourage everyone to read this statement. If you agree with what it says, please endorse the statement by emailing back to us. Please send your endorsements on or before July 21, 8am Manila time.

Please be so kind as to disseminate widely to your networks. Looking forward to your favorable response. Thanks and more power.

In solidarity,

Mark Ambay

IPMSDL Research

Note: For those who will forward this statement, please ensure that the response will get back to us at IPMSDL so we can include their names on the list of those endorsing the statement. Thanks.

—-

A Chance for Peace: Supporting the Opportunity for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines

All over the world Indigenous Peoples continue to face oppression and exploitation by uncaring governments and self-serving corporations. We are still one of the most marginalized sectors in society. States and big businesses continue to deny our right to self determination, our collective rights as peoples, our right to land, our very right to life. Wars of aggression, counter-insurgency and militarization displace us from our homes. Environmentally destructive activities such as large-scale mining, mono-crop plantations and their resultant disasters threaten our very existence.

Our sisters and brothers from the Philippines face the same threats day in and day out. The Philippine government’s neoliberal economic and pro-big business policies have negatively affected the lives of Indigenous Peoples in the country, fueling more resistance to extractive and energy industry projects. This resistance, in turn, has been met head-on by the Philippine government with increased militarization of Indigenous Peoples communities, thereby maintaining a vicious cycle of human rights abuses and murders that continue to plague the lives of Indigenous Peoples every single day.

For so-called “peace and development”, over 80 Indigenous Peoples have been victims of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Philippine military and its para-military groups and 30,000 have been forced to leave their homes due to militarization. Sexual assault and rape of indigenous women by military personnel have gone unpunished. 2000 indigenous youth have been forced to leave school due to government closure of indigenous schools. Military forces encamp in indigenous communities on an almost daily basis. Trumped up charges have been filed against hundreds of indigenous activists and their advocates. These abuses were done in the name of an anti-insurgency campaign, a campaign of red-tagging and anti-communist paranoia that delegitimizes the validity of Filipino Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for their right to self determination, to land, to life.

It is with glad hearts, then, that we welcome the statement of the Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to include our sister and brother Indigenous Peoples in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Duterte, in his inaugural speech, stated that he looks “forward to the participation of all other stakeholders, particularly our indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process.” An agreement for a just and lasting peace will give Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines the chance to attain what has been denied them by the previous administrations in the country.

We hope the resumption of the peace talks will lead to a lessening and eventual disappearance of violations of civil and political rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. We also hope that an agreement on economic, social and cultural rights be signed and the rights to self determination, land and life of Indigenous Peoples be upheld therein.

We are optimistic. We believe this peace process has a chance to work. But we also believe that others with vested interests will derail this peace process in order to deny not only Indigenous Peoples but also others their rights, Thus our optimism is also coupled with watchfulness to ensure that the derailment of the Philippine peace process will not come to pass.

This peace process and the possible resulting peace agreement present a possibility of providing a template for future work of other Indigenous Peoples in other parts of the world. We believe this possibility should not be wasted.

We enjoin our sisters and brothers in the Philippines to be vigilant in militantly asserting their collective rights to self-determination, as well as continue to support the rights of non-indigenous peoples as well. We must continue to assert and claim these rights, and strive to to organize and educate more individuals and organizations on people’s issues. We call on all Indigenous Peoples and advocates of Indigenous Peoples rights all over the globe to support the peace process in the Philippines.

Let us join hands and continue to assert our right to self determination and break the chains of oppression all over the world.

Endorsed by:

Atama Katama, Borneo Dayak Forum, Sabah

Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)

Casey Box, Land is Life, United States of America

Catherine Eatock, Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), Australia

Celestine Nkabari Akpobari, Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Nigeria

India Reed Bowers, International Organization for Self Determination and Equality (IOSDE), France

Jiten Yumnam, Center for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM), Manipur

Leonard Imbiri, Dewan Adat Papua, West Papua

Marcus Terena, Inter-Tribal Committee, Brazil

Norma Maldonado, Asociacion Raxch’ och’ Oxlaju Aj (AROAJ), Guatemala

Piya Malayao, KATRIBU Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU), Philippines

Rukka Sombolinggi, Alliance of indigenous Peoples in the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia

Saro Legbrosi Pyagbara, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Nigeria

Windel Bolinget, Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), Philippines

The Secretariat

International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
2F Ibon Center
#114 Timog Ave., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City 1103 Philippines
+63.2.664.6327
ipmsdl@gmail.com
www.ipmsdl.wordpress.com

July 19, 2016   No Comments

International networks to visit defiant farming communities in Bukidnon

From: RMP-NMR Information <info@rmp-nmr.org>
Subject: NEWS RELEASE: International networks to visit defiant farming communities in Bukidnon

International networks to visit defiant farming communities in Bukidnon

16 July 2016—International participants gather today to start the three-day long solidarity visit to the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) communities in Maramag, Bukidnon to express their support for the communities’ assertion of their rights.

The 24 participants, mostly coming from the United States of America, haven chosen the BTL area among other opened communities throughout the Philippines for their short exposure as part of the International Conference for People’s Rights in the Philippines (ICPRP).

Holding its first conference in July 2013, the ICPRP takes its unity from the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, which, among others, asserted the right of the oppressed peoples of the world to fight for their liberation.

“We warmly welcome the participants who are here to gain deeper insights on peoples’ rights, which strongly anchor on the right to self determination,” said Vennel Francis Chenfoo, secretary general of Panalipdan Youth (PY) Mindanao and head of the Task Force International Solidarity Mission (TF-ISM). “Contrary to the common understanding of rights, this self determination is not only applicable to indigenous communities. We are all entitled to develop – as an individual and more importantly as a community. The BTL farmers’ defense of their land is their expression of this right.”

For BTL, the visit to their area is timely as they are about to launch anew their campaign after they lost their case in the Ombudsman.

The BTL is composed of roughly 800 farming families that have been asserting their occupation of some 400 hectares in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon. The area had previously been part of the land granted by then-president Carlos Garcia to the Central Mindanao University (CMU).

The land was later on subjected to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and was distributed among farmers who had developed the land under a failed rice program of the university. CMU challenged this decision and until now has kept on trying to install university guards in the area to stop the residents from farming. CMU insisted the land would be used for research and educational purposes. However, the university has leased a large part of its areas to agricultural plantations such as Davao Agricultural Ventures, and the Bukidnon Resources Company, Inc.

In their struggle, a number of their leaders have been killed over the years. However, the organizations stood firm and continued to launch several actions including a camp-out in front of the university’s main gate, which lasted for almost a month in June 2011. They also set up a system of collective tilling that allowed them to work on the land amidst the attacks of the university guards.

Dubbed as ‘Pakigbisog’, the international solidarity mission to BTL is arranged by the REAP Mindanao Network, Kasama Bukidnon, Karapatan-Northern Mindanao, Anakbayan-Northern Mindanao and PY Mindanao.

Participants will later proceed to Davao City for the ICPRP.###

For reference:

Vennel Francis Chenfoo

Head, Task Force ISM

Mobile number: 0927-235-9204

E-mail: panalipdanyouthnmr@gmail.com

Sr. Ma. Famita N. Somogod, MSM

REAP Mindanao Network

Telephone: +63 (63) 223 5179

E-mail: info@rmp-nmr.org

RURAL MISSIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR), Inc
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
9200 Iligan City, Philippines
T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179
E: info@rmp-nmr.org

S: rural.missionaries

W: www.rmp-nmr.org

This message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s) and are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any disclosure, distribution, printing or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please inform RMP-NMR at info@rmp-nmr.org and delete this email message immediately.

July 19, 2016   No Comments

Ranch guards kill 3 Higaonon in Sumilao, Bukidnon

KATUNGOD LUMAD ALERT:
Ranch guards kill 3 Higaonon in Sumilao, Bukidnon

ramcar

On July 12, 2016, security personnel of RAMCAR Inc. fired at members of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous Peoples Organization who were at their makeshift tent, killing three of the lumad farmers who were then preparing to farm.

According to survivors, at around six in the morning, 13 security guards from the Tagbagani Security Agency employed by the company allegedly surrounded the tent of the lumads put up on the land they were tilling at Sitio Inalsahan, Barangay Lupiagan, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The guards were firing at the lumads while encircling them. The lumads, who were then having coffee, tried to duck and seek cover.

Remar Mayantao, a council member of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous People Organization, raised his arms to express submission to the guards. However, he was hit on his right abdomen, causing him to fall. A security guard went to him and slit his throat with a knife.

Senon Nacaytuna attempted to run. However, he tripped and fell. Another security guard went to him, turned him so that he faced upwards, and shot him on the chest. The guard then placed a 0.38 gun on Nacayutna’s hand that was holding a weeding bolo. Rogen Suminao also took a fatal shot. Three other lumad farmers – one of them a 15-year old female – were wounded.

The shooting lasted for five minutes. The guards destroyed three of the tents of the lumads that were on the contested land and went away. The tents were set up on the contested area that the lumad group had been claiming but was occupied by RAMCAR Inc.

In 2011, the Higaonon community in Brgy. Lupiagan processed an ancestral domain claim over 5,000 hectares of land in the said barangay. However, they found out that only 2,400 hectares were left untitled over the years, the rest of the ‘borrowed’ land from their ancestors already privately owned by institutions and individuals. The group settled for an application for the 2,400 hectares.

However, the lumad group claimed that RAMCAR Inc., which is raising cattle in the area, fenced around 5,000 hectares including part of their ancestral domain claim. On June 11, 2014, the lumads set up tents on the contested land. The following day, they were driven away by the guards of the company and so were forced to transfer their tents outside the fenced area. The security guards then put up a guardhouse in front of them.

In the first week of July, Datu Makalingaw received notice that there is already a request from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to allow them to enter the lands they had claimed. However, the group waited for a dialogue that was to be facilitated by the Local Government Unit of Sumilao and the NCIP. The lumads also set up three more tents on July 10 – this time inside the territory fenced by RAMCAR Inc. but well within their ancestral domain.

July 17, 2016   No Comments

Private security guards harass indigenous Lumads for land

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-084-2016

13 July 2016

——————————————————
PHILIPPINES: Private security guards harass indigenous Lumads for land

ISSUES: Threat and intimidation, Right to life, Indigenous people
——————————————————

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply concerned about the harassment of the members of the TINDOGA (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), a Lumad organization, by private security guards belonging to Pablo Lorenzo. Lorenzo is claiming the ancestral land of the Lumads.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by the Katungod Lumad Alert)

On 9 July 2016 at 8 a.m., Judy Batyag was attending to her small farm in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon when 12 Lorenzo Blue Guards, security guards of Pablo Lorenzo, who is claiming the Lumad land, fired their guns. She immediately ran to her neighbor Bae Jocelyn Agdahan’s house, who is also a Lumad tribe member. Agdahan disseminated the information to the community so they could safeguard their farmland from the security guards, and reported the incident to the nearest police station.

The members of TINDOGA, (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), have been fighting for their ancestral domain against the usurpation of a previous ranch-owner, Pablo ‘Poling’ Lorenzo, in the area. For a long time, they have been trying to reclaim the land, which had been loaned by their ancestor to the Montalvan ranch, claimed by Pablo Lorenzo.

In March last year, Mabini ‘Tata’ Beato, a member of TINDOGA, was shot dead by Lorenzo’s guards while working on his farm. Until now, there has been no justice for the incident. Althouth harassment towards the Lumads have lessened since Beato’s death, they have not totally ceased .

The TINDOGA members were finally able to get their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and were installed in their land in 2015 together with some other families outside the organization. After winning the May 2016 elections as Vice-Mayor of the City however, Pablo Lorenzo has been petitioning the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the release of the lands to the Montalvan Ranch allegedly to put up a pineapple plantation.

The TINDOGA members and their families wish to maintain and plant crops for their own consumption and to sustain the daily needs of each family.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the case.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-084-2016

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

Philippines: Private security guards harass indigenous Lumads for land

Name of victims: Judy Batyag and the members of TINDOGA, a Lumad organisation
Name of Alleged Perpetrator: Lorenzo Blue Guards, led by Pablo Lorenzo
Date of incident: 9 July 2016
Place of Incident: Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon

I am writing to raise my serious concerns at the harassment of indigenous people in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon.

On 9 July 2016 at 8 a.m., Judy Batyag was attending to her small farm in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon when 12 Lorenzo Blue Guards, security guards of Pablo Lorenzo, who is claiming the Lumad land, fired their guns. She immediately ran to her neighbor Bae Jocelyn Agdahan’s house, who is also a Lumad tribe member. Agdahan disseminated the information to the community so they could safeguard their farmland from the security guards, and reported the incident to the nearest police station.

The members of TINDOGA, (Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association), have been fighting for a long time for their ancestral domain against the usurpation of previous ranch-owner, Pablo ‘Poling’ Lorenzo. They finally obtained their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and were installed in their land in 2015. Pablo continues however to claim the land and harassing the Lumad members.

I have learned that one Lumad member was even shot dead by Lorenzo’s security guards. Despite this, the Lumad members continue to protect their ancestral land and plant crops to sustain their daily needs.

I respectfully urge you to investigate this case properly and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Also, ensure that the families of the victims are given protection adequately. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines should monitor and evaluate whether the investigation is conducted in accordance with standards of fair trial. Lastly, I urge you to ensure that RA 8371 or The Indigenous People’s Rights Act is used to uphold the rights of the indigenous people.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

Yours sincerely,

——————————

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Maj. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600
Fax:+63(2) 982-5600
Email: info@dnd.gov.ph

4. Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 521-1614

5. Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
2/F N. dela Merced Bldg. corner West &
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Tel: +63 8373-9942
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Visit our website with more features at www.humanrights.asia.

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Asian Human Rights Commission

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Tel: +(852) 2698-6339 Fax: +(852) 2698-6367

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July 17, 2016   No Comments

LANDLESS HACIENDA WORKERS OCCUPY LANDS FOR FOOD PRODUCTION!

From: UMA Pilipinas <uma.pilipinas@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 11:16 AM
Subject: NEWS / PHOTOS #TiempoMuerto | Negros sugar workers occupy Hacienda Ilimnan
To: uma-email-list@googlegroups.com

References: DANNY TABURA

Chairman, MP No. 09124373899

Hda. Illiman Farm Workers Association – NFSW

GI ESTRADA, UMA Media Officer, 09166114181

TIEMPO MUERTO IN NEGROS:   LANDLESS HACIENDA WORKERS OCCUPY LANDS FOR FOOD PRODUCTION!

More than 40 hacienda workers occupied Hacienda Illiman in Barangay Sta Rosa, Murcia, Negros Occidental to plant food crops last Monday, July 11, at 10 in the morning.

This is the latest initiative by the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) to establish the bungkalan or land cultivation areas to ease hunger of farmworkers toiling for slave wages in vast sugar haciendas in Negros Island. The Hda. Ilimnan Farm Workers Association-NFSW is an affiliate of the national agriworkers center Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA).

Hacienda Illimnan is a 155-hectare property formerly owned by the Arguelles family who sold the land to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental in 2010. Since then, the land has been a subject of a long running legal battle between supposed land reform beneficiaries composed of hacienda workers and the provincial government.

In May 2016, the Bureau of Legal Assistance or BALA of the DAR Central office finally issued a decision denying the Application for Exemption filed by the Provincial Government. The DAR – Negros Occidental then issued a Memorandum to Proceed to start the process for land coverage immediately.

The land has been applied for CARP coverage by more than 100 hacienda workers sometime in 1993. In 1998, the DAR in Murcia town had the beneficiaries sign the Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertaking or APFU, a promissory note to ensure amortization payments under the CARP law.

Reeling from the effects of the El Nino phenomenon that struck late last year until April this year, further aggravated by the current off-milling season or Tiempo Muerto which started last June and will peak in this month of August, the farm workers decided to occupy and cultivate the land to plant palay as a means to solve hunger and lack of income caused by the absence of productive work in haciendas.

Yesterday afternoon, July 12, an emergency dialogue was conducted between the representative of the hacienda workers and the Provincial Government Legal Office, Atty. Jose Maria Valencia, with the presence of the Chief of Negros Occidental Police Office and PARO Tess Mabunay of DAR – Negros Occidental.

The dialogue ended in a deadlock with a threat from the Chief of Police of Murcia that any farmer who dares to enter Ilimnan to cultivate the land today will be arrested and jailed.

In the face of hunger and without work in the hacienda, the farmworkers stood their ground and will continue to plant palay and other food crops, despite threats of imprisonment.

“Long after the expiration of the bogus CARP law, supposed beneficiaries still suffer harassment from authorities who are supposed to protect the interest of tillers. We laud the courage of the farmworkers in Hacienda Ilimnan,” said Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General.

“A new and genuine land reform law must be put in place to protect our farmers and farmworkers. We therefore push for the immediate enactment of House Bill 555, or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) re-filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao in the 17th Congress,” said Ramos.

Photos by NFSW

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Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura

Federation of Agricultural Workers | Philippines

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July 17, 2016   No Comments

Warrant of arrest issued against 15 activists and church workers for assisting Lumad evacuees

Warrant of arrest issued against 15 activists and church workers for assisting Lumad evacuees

Dear Friends,

Join us as we strongly denounce the issuance of warrant of arrest against the fifteen activists and church workers assisting the Lumad evacuees at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines-Haran in Davao City.

On January 2015, some 800 Ata Manobo from Talaingod and Kapalong, Davao del Norte and San Fernando, Bukidnon started to evacuate from their communities to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP)-Haran in Davao City due to atrocities committed by the military led by the 10th Infantry Division-Philippine Army headed by Gen. Eduardo Ano, and its paramilitary group Alamara. The military harassed teachers and students of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) Academy in Kapalong. A 14-year-old girl was raped by members of the 68th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army in Talaingod. Five male residents in San Fernando were tortured by the military – beaten, their heads wrapped with cellophanes.

On July 11, 2015, leaders of people’s organizations and human rights activists learned that trumped up criminal charges were filed against 15 individuals and implicated some 55 others for supporting the Lumad evacuees.

On May 12, 2015, a complaint was filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) before the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office, with charges of violation of Republic Act (RA) 267 or kidnapping and serious illegal detention and RA 9208 or the Anti-trafficking in persons Act of 2003, as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-trafficking of Persons Act of 2012.

Those charged are: Honey Mae Suazo, Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Secretary General; Rev. Jurie Jaime, Promotion of Church People’s Response-SMR; Sheena Duazo, Spokesperson, Bayan-SMR; Ryan Lariba, spokesperson, Bayan Socsksargen; Tony Salubre, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-SMR; Mary Ann Sapar, Gabriela Women’s Party-SMR; Jaja Necosia, RCPA Productions-Broadcasting; Kerlan Fanagel, Sr., Secretary general of the Lumad group Pasaka; Sr. Stella Matutina, Panalipdan-Mindanao; Restita Miles, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines; Isidro Indao, Spokesperson of Pasaka; Kharlo Manano, National Secretary General of Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns and spokesperson of the Save Our Schools network; Rius Valle, Children’s Rehabilitation Center-SMR; Jimboy Marciano, SAMA-AKO-KMU; and Pedro Arnado, Chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-SMR, and, many other John/Jane Does. They are collectively called as “Haran 15.”

The trumped up charges were filed by Datu Kalumpot Dalon, Datu Laris Landahay, Libara Angkomog, Juvanie Angkomog, Toto Angkomog, Limar Mansomoy-at and Tata Angkomog-Lundia, all residents of Sitio Inayaman, Brgy. San Jose, San Fernando, Bukidnon. The complainants evacuated together with more than 167 residents from their town. They left the evacuation center sometime February 2015 and went back to their communities, where soldiers were still encamped. They were already under the custody of the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under General Eduardo Ano, when they filed the complaint.

Attached to the criminal complaint is a so-called rogue gallery which contains names and photos of 55 other activists. The “rogue gallery” was created by the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command. The list is an assortment of names which includes the late labor leader Crispin Beltran and environmentalist Francis Morales, who died in May 2008 and November 2014, respectively. It also included National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace panel members Jose Maria Sison and Juliet de Lima who have been in the Netherlands since the 1980s.

In the complainants’ joint affidavit, they alleged that they received an invitation letter from a certain Kumander Jose on the last week of January 2015, for a dialogue with President Aquino, Manny Pacquiao and former Mayor Duterte at Davao City. According to the three complainants they were promised for free transportation, accommodation plus sacks of rice, grocery items, kitchen utensils and farm tools. In Davao, complainants said that they were brought to the UCCP-Haran compound, locked and padlocked, restrained to go out, theircellphones were confiscated, that their requests to go home were dismissed, and that they were ordered to join rallies.

On September 8, 2015, Davao City Investigating Prosecutor Samuel Atencia issued a resolution dismissing the trumped up charges of kidnapping, serious illegal detention and trafficking in persons for insufficiency of evidence.

In the said resolution, Atencia stated that there was no actual confinement or restriction on the complainants, the alleged incident happened in the heart of the city making it impossible to have a kidnapping en masse, there were no armed guards to restrict the complainants’ movements, the persons charged were not properly identified, and the elements of the crime of trafficking of persons are not present.

On October 20, 2015, only one of the complainants, Datu Kalumpot Dalon, filed a Motion for Reconsideration on the dismissal of the charges. On April 5, 2016, Acting Prosecutor of Davao City Loverhette Jeffrey P. Villordon, as designated by the national office of the Department of Justice, granted Dalon’s Motion for Reconsideration, reversing the dismissal of cases and indicting the Haran 15 and other John/Jane Does for the charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and recommending the filing of Information against them in Court.

On May 31, 2016, the Haran 15, through their counsel Manuel Quibod, filed a Motion for Reconsideration. It was on June 28, 2016, during a forum on peace in Davao City, that a media practitioner showed Kerlan Fenagel a photo of a warrant of arrest against him and 14 others on the said trumped up cases. It was only then they learned that a warrant was issued.

The warrant was issued by Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 10 Judge Retrina Fuentes on the charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

The next day, June 29, Haran 15’s counsel Manuel Quibod filed an urgent motion to suspend and recall implementation of warrant of arrest at the Davao City RTC Branch 10. They also urged to suspend the proceedings to await the DOJ Resolution on their Motion for Reconsideration dated April 5, 2016.

Judge Fuentes granted the Haran 15’s urgent motion to suspend and recall implementation of the warrant of arrest against them until August 1, 2016. Yet, even before the warrant will again take its effect, wanted posters of the Haran 15 are distributed all over Davao City.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is still implementing former President BS Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

Recommended actions:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate withdrawal or dismissal of the trumped up cases against the Haran 15;

2. An end to the military’s practice of filing of trumped up criminal charges against human rights activists, peasant and indigenous people’s leaders, and church workers in order to restrict their activities and halt the service they provide to those in need;

3. The immediate pull-out of government troops from the Lumad communities;

4. The Philippine Government to withdraw BS Aquino’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians; and

6. The Philippine Government to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Republic

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op@president.gov.ph or send message through http://president.gov.ph/contact-us/

Sec. Jesus Dureza

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I

Emerald Avenue

Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066

Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

Email: stqd.papp@opapp.gov.ph, feedback@opapp.net

Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: info@dnd.gov.ph, webmaster@dnd.gov.ph

Vitaliano Aguirre

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721

Trunkline: 523-84-81 loc.214

Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
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Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District

Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.

July 17, 2016   No Comments