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.

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June 1, 2016   No Comments

Victory! Oceana Gold Pulls Out Drilling Operation after people’s barricade

Victory! Oceana Gold Pulls Out Drilling Operation after people’s barricade

Joint press release

28 June 2016

BAGUIO CITY – Oceana Gold Philippines Inc. pulls out their drilling
operations in Sitio Camgat, Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu Nueva Vizcaya last
Saturday, June 18, three days after anti-mining residents barricaded the
entrance to the site.

The Barangay Council and anti-mining residents under DESAMA and SAPPAKMI
decided to stop the barricade after OGPI pulled-out their equipment in
the area stating that the victory of the people is only temporary.

“We will maintain to be vigilant towards the company’s dirty tactics of
sneaking in drilling equipment in the area. Last time, they sneaked in
their equipment when the community was busy attending a wedding and a
funeral,” said Erenio Bobola, chairperson of SAPPAKMI.

According to reports from the residents, immediately after the
barricade, OGPI called for a meeting with the Barangay to discuss the
new amendments of their Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) which
is the basis of their entry.

“We already signed a resolution in 2012 that the community will not
allow any mining activity in the area. The company did not respect that
by asking the approval only from the landowners where the drilling
machines were situated,” said Myrna Duyan, a board director of DESAMA.

“We still need to consolidate the landowners and the Barangay Council
to steady their anti-mining stand and not be co-opted by the company’s
offers because even though it is their land, the effects of the
operation will affect all of us in the Barangay,” Erenio Bobola,
chairperson of SAPPAKMI updated through a phone interview

Last week, the barricade was visited by incoming Governor Carlos Padilla
who vowed to help the residents stop the drilling and exploration of OGPI.

This coming presidential inauguration in Metro Manila on June 30,
SAPPAKKMI will voice out their calls to President elect Duterte to stop
the Australian mining giant from destroying their community.

“President Duterte, ipasardeng yo koma ti Oceana Gold. Naramanan mi ti
impact na nga madi iti aglawlaw, pangkabiagan ken salun-at mi.
Ipatungpal yo koma ti ibagbaga yo nga nu dakayoti mangabak, mapasardeng
dagiti makadadael nga kumpanya. (President Duterte, please stop Oceana
Gold. We experienced its negative impacts to our environment, livelihood
and health. Please realize your promise that you will stop the
operations of destructive mining companies once you are in
power),”Bobola pleads to the president.

For queries please contact:

* Fernando Mangili – Amianan Salakniban Spokesperson – 09174676337
* Erenio Bobola – SAPPAKKMI Chairperson – 09178197064

June 28, 2016   No Comments

Rights and peace groups welcome Duterte release of political prisoners

PRESS RELEASE

25 June 2016

Reference:

Bishop Felixberto Calang
+639189294244

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

Rights and peace groups welcome Duterte release of political prisoners

MANILA, Philippines – Convenors of the upcoming International Conference for People’s Rights in the Philippines (ICPRP) welcome the plan of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to release political prisoners even before the signing of a general amnesty.

The plan was bared by former Justice Secretary and now incoming Labor Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III as part of the government peace panel in negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“We welcome this gesture of goodwill as being conducive to the peace talks,” Bishop Felixberto Calang said.

Bp. Calang is InPeace Mindanao chairperson and spokesperson for the International Conference for People’s Rights in the Philippines (ICPRP), a global rights meet scheduled next month in Davao City to be convened by InPeace, EcuVoice, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and Karapatan..

Rights groups are calling for the release of all political prisoners especially 18 NDFP peace consultants and the sick and aged. Of the 509 total political prisoners to date, 88 are ill and 48 are elderly.

The preliminary talks in Oslo last week saw the signing of a joint statement by NDFP and the incoming GPH panel signifying both parties’ commitment to substantive points for the formal round of negotiations next month.

These include: 1) Affirmation of previously signed agreements; 2) Accelerated process for negotiations, including the timeline for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks; 3) Reconstitution of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) list; 4) Amnesty Proclamation for the release of all detained political prisoners, subject to the concurrence by Congress; and 5) Mode of interim ceasefire.

###

June 28, 2016   No Comments

PHILIPPINES: President-elect Duterte ‘browbeats’ media in test of wills

From: Pacific_media_watch_list [mailto:pacific_media_watch_list-bounces@aut.ac.nz] On Behalf Of Pacific Media Watch nius
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 10:19 a.m.
To: Pacific Media Watch
Subject: [Pacific_media_watch_list] 9710 PHILIPPINES: President-elect Duterte ‘browbeats’ media in test of wills

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/sites/all/themes/zen/pmc/pmw-small.jpg
PHILIPPINES: President-elect Duterte ‘browbeats’ media in test of wills

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/philippines-president-elect-duterte-browbeats-media-test-wills-9710

Friday, June 24, 2016

Amando Doronila
CANBERRA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Pacific Media Watch): OPINION: Let there be no mistake about this. Since his proclamation by Congress as President-elect, Rodrigo Duterte has engaged the media in a relentless campaign of coercion and harassment to browbeat journalists into submission before he takes office on June 30.

The interregnum marked an unprecedented test of wills between the presidency and the media, a ferocity not experienced by any incoming administration in the history of the adversarial relationship between the two social institutions.

The conflict has entered an impasse from which none of the protagonists appears to be backing off.

No incoming President has mounted such a dangerous challenge to the media since the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos.

In that conflict, journalists critical of the abuses of power by Marcos survived 14 years of the martial law regime, which jailed a number of its critics.

None of the critics was threatened with summary executions by squads sponsored by nonstate law enforcement actors.

Under siege
In this running conflict, freedom of the press has come under siege and has in fact suffered erosion without the formal declaration of emergency powers of a burgeoning, aspiring dictatorship, as Duterte awaits his inauguration.

Are we indeed entering a twilight zone in the transition of our electoral democracy?

This impasse leaves little room for complacency in the light of Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime and bureaucratic corruption in six months from his inauguration on June 30.

Media reports abound about this struggle of the press to defend its freedom from the creeping erosion posed by a supposed campaign against criminals, drug lords and corrupt officials demonised by partisan propaganda as enemies of the state.

One of the recent media reports comes from the Associated Press (AP). In this story, Duterte is reported to have blasted media groups for condemning his earlier comments that appeared to justify the killings of journalists because they were corrupt or overly critical.

The journalists were depicted as allies of the criminal suspects tagged by Duterte. He refused to apologise and dared reporters to carry out a threat to boycott his news conferences.

‘Don’t threaten me’
The AP reported that Duterte, in an outburst at a late night news conference in Davao City, lambasted journalists, saying, “Don’t threaten me. Boycott, boycott … go ahead, damn you!”

The outburst came after international and local news groups expressed outrage over Duterte’s remarks about the media killings.

Reporters Without Borders urged local media to boycott his news conferences until he issues a public apology.

Duterte replied that he would survive even if journalists boycotted him because he could ask state-run TV network to cover his activities.

“I’m telling the networks I do not need you,” he said. He threatened to order his Cabinet members not to speak to journalists who are not from the state-run network.

According to the International Federation of Journalists, the Philippines has been the second deadliest country for journalists since 1990, behind only war-torn Iraq.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Duterte’s remarks “apparently excusing extrajudicial killings threaten to make the Philippines into a killing field for journalists.”

It said the country ranks fourth on its impunity index, which spotlights the countries where the killers of journalists go unpunished.

Duterte’s crass pronouncements not only sully the memories of journalists who have been murdered since 1986, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

Open season
Asked to comment on the unsolved killings of journalists, Duterte, in effect, declared open season to silence the media.

He made the sweeping accusation that many of those slain were paid to take sides on issues or had overly criticised people who could not tolerate personal attacks.

“Just because you’re a journalist (doesn’t mean) you’re exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch,” Duterte said.

“Your freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something with the guy.”

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Editor: Professor David Robie david.robie@aut.ac.nz
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June 28, 2016   No Comments

Bishops urged to attend to immoral and criminal acts under Aquino, not just ‘alarming killings by police’

From: “PCPR Media” <pcprmedia@gmail.com> Date: 22 Jun 2016 2:39 p.m.
Subject: Press Release: Bishops urged to attend to immoral and criminal acts under Aquino, not just ‘alarming killings by police’

Press Release

June 22, 2016

Bishops urged to attend to many immoral and criminal acts under Aquino administration

Sharing concern with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in monitoring a possible rise in police-killings in the last month, the Promotion of Church People’s Response asks for the leadership of the Catholic Church to speak on the many immoral and riminal acts under the Aquino administration.

“We understand why bishops are worried about a possible rise in police and vigilante killings of suspected drug pushers and syndicate agents, but even these are happening under the leadership of President Aquino. If there is an action to be made, it’s the sitting president who is responsible,” said Mr. Nardy abino, General Secretary, Promotion of Church People’s Response.

“Where is Mr. President in all these matters? He is still the sitting president and we haven’t heard anything from him on these so-called ‘alarming killings by the police,’” lamented Sabino.
The Promotion of Church People’s Response held an action to voice their solidarity and support for any victims of the Aquino Administration, as the final countdown of Aquino’s term proceeds.

“We can’t help but express sadness that we have heard very few, if any, prophetic words from the bishops on the many immoral and criminal acts of President Aquino. From the Mamasapano debacle, to the Aquino administration’s Pork Barrel Plunder through PDAF and DAP, to hideous under-responsiveness during disasters and mismanagement of relief and rehabilitation funds—there are plenty of issues on which our bishops should be leading prophetically in the people’s call for justice,” said Sabino.

“As Church people we are concerned for the human rights and dignity of life for all people, especially the poor and marginalized. We will continue our prophetic vigilance under the Duterte administration. At the present moment, it would be of great service, if our good bishops will voice-out their concern for more than 318 victims of extrajudicial killings, 89 of them indigenous peoples, under the BS Aquino presidency. We encourage our bishops to ask President Aquino what he has been doing regarding the human rights violations under his leadership, including our concern on a reported rise in police killings of suspects in drug related crime. We want our bishops to be prophetic. We only hope that they would respond with the same conviction to many other cries of the Filipino people due to immoral and criminal acts of our government,” added Sabino. ##

Reference: Nardy Sabino, General Secretary
Promotion of Church People’s Response
pcprmedia@gmail.com 0928-385- 4123

June 28, 2016   No Comments

ILPS-Phils Solidarity Statement in support of Lumad evacuees in Mindanao

 

Solidarity Statement

ILPS-Phils

ilps

Warmest greetings!

The Philippines chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) fully supports the evacuees from Sitio Camansi and Sitio Tapol of Barangay Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao in their struggle against the militarization of their communities by state forces.

The internally displaced Lumads are now encamped outside the Provincial Capitol in Cagayan de Oro City.

Comprising 47 families (230 individuals), the evacuees were forced to leave their farms and homes after a series of military operations from the 58th IB, 4th ID Philippine Army in the months of May, July and October in 2015 and again since June 5 this year.

The military personnel under the 58th Infantry Battallion of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army have accused the Lumads to be armed, to be members of the New People’s Army. A certain 1st Lt Valleser threatened them in Camansi, strafed the school when they started evacuating, aimed their guns at resident Juni Cabanlas, ransacked five houses, and followed them as they encamped in Lagonglong.

We thank the‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network in supporting the displaced Lumad of Misamis Oriental of Mindanao in their fight to return back to their communities.

We are one in demanding the following:

1. Pull-out elements of 58th IB, Special Forces, and Paramilitia under 4th IDPA in Sitios Camansi and Tapul, Banglay, Lagonglong;

2. Prohibit soldiers from camping in communities;

3. Prohibit putting up detachments in communities.

We urge the Municipal Government of Lagonglong and Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental to ensure the evacuee’s security, food, and medicines until they are safely back in their communities;

We enjoin everyone to support the Lumad struggle in their right to self-determination as we urged the incoming Duterte government to address their issues along with the resumption of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the release of all political prisoners, declaration of a temporary ceasefire and work for a government of national unity, peace and development.

###

I L P S
Philippine Chapter

Office Address:
2/F IBON Center, #114 Timog Avenue
Quezon City 1103, PHILIPPINES
Tel: +63 2 664 6327
E-mail: ilps.phils@gmail.com

Website: www.ilps-phils.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILPSPhils

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ILPS_Phils

June 21, 2016   No Comments

‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network Request for Solidarity Statement

Subject:   Request for Solidarity Statement

Date:  Thu, 16 Jun 2016 13:49:15 +0000

From:  ‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network <info@rmp-nmr.org>

Reply-To:  ‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network <info@rmp-nmr.org>

To:  comms@piplinks.org

The ‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network is humbly requesting you to support the displaced Lumad of Misamis Oriental of Mindanao, Philippines, in their fight to return back to their communities by RELEASING A SOLIDARITY STATEMENT. They are now camping outside the Provincial Capitol located in Cagayan de Oro City, and their firm stance and assertion are just and inspiring.

Part of their Unity Statement reads:
“We wish to inform everyone that we would have preferred not to walk another 100 kilometers, sleep on cement without cover for more than a week. Our children had already gotten sick with fever, diarrhea, cough because of the hot and humid weather in the city. We are not used to this place as our lives are connected to the mountains, the forests, rivers, streams – to our ancestral land.

“We wish to inform everyone that we would have preferred not to seem like beggars to the municipal and provincial governments, to the Social and Welfare offices just so we could eat noodles, NFA rice, porridge as we are not used to eating these. In fact, we could not sleep properly because we keep on thinking about our homes, our animals, our crops, especially as we have just sown seeds after the the long drought had destroyed our farms.

“We wish to inform everyone that the most painful of all that we’ve been through is when some individuals mock us, especially military personnel under the 58th Infantry Battallion of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. They have accused us to be armed, to be members of the New People’s Army, and have threatened our peaceful lives. Not satisfied with what they had already done in our communities, they also went after up to the Lagonglong Gym. Who can sleep well when the military, headed by 1st Lt Valleser, who threatened us – gathered us in Camansi, strafed our school when started evacuating, aimed their guns at Juni Cabanlas, and ransacked five of our houses – followed us and camped right in front of the gate of the Lagonglong Gym?”
Please click here to read the entire statement.

You may send your solidarity statement to info@rmp-nmr.org. The statements will be read in the camp out, and will be circulated widely in various social networking sites and media networks with the hope of drumbeating their calls and aspirations and press the concerned government agencies to act swiftly.

Thank you very much.

June 18, 2016   No Comments

Victims of human rights violations and kin: RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! RESUME PEACE TALKS! RESOLVE THE ROOTS OF ARMED CONFLICT!

STATEMENT
15 June 2016

Victims of human rights violations and kin: RELEASE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! RESUME PEACE TALKS! RESOLVE THE ROOTS OF ARMED CONFLICT!

WE ARE citizens who have experienced human rights violations since the Marcos dictatorship until the departing Noynoy Aquino administration. We know what persecution, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced separation from family, and isolation from society mean. We are former political prisoners who have survived to tell our stories.

Today, we are joined by kith and kin, other victims of rights violations, and justice advocates, to urge the release of all political prisoners who have been enduring injustice and suffering state brutality because they fought a war against slavery and poverty, elitism and greed, subservience to foreign interests, and unfreedom.

They must all be freed.

Today, as we press for the release of 509 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, we are encouraged by the declaration and intention of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to do so. We are completely behind him to right what all the past presidents did wrong.

Releasing all political prisoners, especially the 18 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, will absolutely create a positive climate for the resumption of the peace talks. There is no way that granting freedom to citizens who have been wrongfully arrested, jailed, and slapped with trumped-up charges will not encourage peace. This much-awaited milestone act of statesmanship by the President-elect, once realized, will what shall initiate closure to many instances of injustice.

Together with the freed political prisoners and all our families and organizations, we stand foursquare behind the peace process in search of solutions to the root causes of the war that has long raged in our country.

We warn the diehards of the withering Noynoy Aquino regime and all saboteurs not to sow intrigues, not to redtag, and not to disrupt and derail the release of political prisoners and the success of the peace negotiations.

We, the people, shall overcome!

June 18, 2016   No Comments

Didipio IPs Barricade Oceana Gold Drilling Exploration

News Release

June 15 2016

Didipio IPs Barricade Oceana Gold Drilling Exploration

didipio

Anti-mining residents launched a barricade in June 15 to stop the drilling operations of Oceana Gold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) in Sitio Camgat, Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya which started in the first week of June.

“They are greedy. Still not satisfied with the vast open pit they dug in our land they still want more while we residents are suffering from the negative effects they brought. We want them to pull-out. Stop their operations. Our lives are at stake,” Lholet Guimpayan, a resident in the barricade said.

Residents under peoples organizations of DESAMA (Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association) and SAPAKKMMI (Samahang Pangkarapatan ng Katutubong Mangagawa at Magsasaka Inc. ) joined forces to stop the 400 meter drilling operations which they believe will affect the potable water system of the community and pollute the rivers with the chemicals used in drilling operations.

“We have experienced this in the Sitio Magasin, just above the Dinkidi mining site, wherein the residents abandoned their homes because the groundwater source was depleted since the mining company started its operations in 2012,” Ernesto Bobola, chairperson of SAPPAKKMI narrated.

He added that the chemicals used in drilling exploration may affect the water systems even the downstream areas once it leaks through the soil and the river. Barangays that may be affected are Didipio, Alimit, Tubo, Alicia, Naguigui, San Benigno, Aglipay and barangays in Jones, Isabela.

According to Fernando Mangili, spokesperson of Amianan Salakniban, an Environment and Human Rights Network in Luzon, based on the experience of mining in his province in Benguet, all stages of mineral production from exploration to extraction have detrimental effects to the water systems of the land.

“Mines damage, deplete and pollute water systems at every stage of their lifecycle, from prospecting, operating to closure. And sometimes its effects are felt centuries after. My hometown, Benguet is a dead proof that mining is detrimental to our ecosystems.”

OGPI, a subsidiary of the Australian-Canadian transnational mining company, Oceana Gold was given a 5 year extension of their Free Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) exploration by the Mines Geosciences Bureau (MGB) last March. In their corporate press release, target areas for exploration which covers six kilometers of drilling are Upper Tucos, Mogambos and Papaya which are covered by the Free Technical Assistance Agreement FTAA-001 granted by the government in 1994. Their exploration methods include geologic mapping, soil sampling and ground geophysics has commenced but the drilling is yet to commence in the third quarter of 2016.

However, according to residents, OGPI is already drilling in the area with their machines. The residents immediately united to form a barricade to stop the exploration.

According to Myrna Duyan, one of the Board of Directors of DESAMA, all of the 10 families in Sitio Camgat that are directly affected by the drilling are opposed to the drilling operations. No consent from the community was ever given to the company to start the operations.

“In fact, we passed a Barangay Resolution in 2012 to the company that we will not allow mining and drilling operations in the remaining areas that Oceana Gold have not destroyed yet,” Duyan added. “Our free prior informed consent is being violated in this act.”

Residents claim all of them did not approve the entry of the mines in the first place but because of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the FTAA component of the law, their rights to their livelihood and water sources are continuously being violated because the company has all the rights to their land. And even though Nueva Vizcaya declared itself a no-mining zone under EO79, OGPI is still being allowed to operate and expand its operations.

“We also plead to the President-elect Duterte to change the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 which brought large-scale mining to our lives,” Duyan added.

“We call on President Duterte to help us stop the operations of Oceana Gold here in Didipio. It has brought nothing to the community but suffering to us residents. The continuous destruction of our environment is leaving us with no hope for the future generations,” Bobola pleaded. ###

June 18, 2016   No Comments

PEPP Supports New Peace Talk Initiatives

From: PEPP <peaceplatform2007@gmail.com> Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 4:11 PM
Subject: PEPP Supports New Peace Talk Initiatives
To:

PEPP Supports New Peace Talk Initiatives

The Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP)*, the largest ecumenical formation of church leaders in the country today, supports the efforts of President-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte to resume the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). PEPP appreciates the promise to release political prisoners including NDFP Consultants as a confidence building measure for the talks.

PEPP welcomes the news that the President-elect will send emissaries to Oslo, Norway this month to talk to their counterparts in the NDFP. PEPP believes that the preliminary talks between incoming Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and incoming peace adviser Jesus Dureza with NDFP Peace Panel Chair, Luis Jalandoni, and NDFP Chief Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, will bear fruit. . The prospects of a ceasefire from both sides may also bring favorable conditions.

PEPP welcomes the promise that all signed agreements that were painstakingly negotiated by both parties in the past will be honored to serve as building blocks for future agreements.

PEPP remains steadfast in its conviction that addressing the roots of the armed conflict in the country by engaging in principled dialogue is a positive step forward. We hope that through the resumption of the formal peace talks, social justice and the need for fundamental socio-economic reforms will finally be tackled.

We enjoin all peace-loving Filipinos to continually pray and tirelessly work for peace by supporting these new initiatives toward peace by the incoming Administration. With our faith, we resolve and pray to continue supporting the GPH-NDFP negotiations as part of our people’s quest for a just and enduring peace.

*The PEPP is a platform for 5 church institutions/groups, namely, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum (EBF), in working for a just and enduring peace by supporting the peace process in the Philippines starting with the call for the resumption of the formal peace talks between the GPH-NDFP.

Issued and signed on 8th June 2016.

Signed:

SGD. SGD.

Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, DD REV. FR. REX RB REYES, JR.

Co-chairperson, PEPP Co-chairperson, PEPP

SGD. SGD.

Bishop Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr., DD BISHOP NOEL A. PANTOJA

Head, PEPP Secretary National Director, PCEC

SGD.

SR. MARY JOHN M. MANANZAN, OSB

Institute of Women Studies

St. Scholastica’s College

June 18, 2016   No Comments

KATUNGOD LUMAD ALERT: Blue Guards harass TINDOGA members once more

higala

KATUNGOD LUMAD ALERT:
Blue Guards harass TINDOGA members once more

higala3

Judy Batyag was attending to her family’s small farm in Barangay Botong, Quezon, Bukidnon when 12 Blue Guards fired their guns at her at around 8:00 in the morning of June 9, 2016.

She ran to the home of Bae Jocelyn Agdahan, a fellow Manobo. Upon hearing what just happened, BAgdahan elayed the information to the rest of the community so that they can stand post and guard their farmlands against the imminent invasion of the Blue Guards. Agdahan then proceeded to the nearest police station and reported the matter to the police.

Batyag and Agdahan are both members of the TINDOGA, a Lumad organization that has been fighting for their to ancestral domain against the usurpation of a previous ranch-owner, Pablo ‘Poling’ Lorenzo, in the area. For a long time, they had been trying to reclaim the land, which had been loaned by their ancestor to the Montalvan ranch.

The TINDOGA members were finally able to get their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and were installed in the land in 2015 together with some other families outside the organization. However, they are intermittently harassed by Lorenzo’s Blue Guards. In March last year, Mabini ‘Tata’ Beato, a member of TINDOGA died after the guards shot at them while they were working on their farms. Until now, they have not attained justice for the incident.

Since the death of Beato, the harassments have lessened but have not ceased. In the May 2016 elections, Pablo Lorenzo won as Quezon’s Vice-Mayor. Lorenzo has been petitioning the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the re-lease of the lands to the Montalvan Ranch allegedly to put up a pineapple plantation.

Co-owners of the CADT who were not members of TINDOGA had already agreed to leaseback their lands to Lorenzo. TINDOGA families, however, insist on maintaining the lands for their farms, most of the produce for their own families’ consumption.

EXPRESS YOUR CONCERN
to the Philippine Government by writing to:

H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Hon. Alfredo Benjamin Sabater Caguioa
Secretary, Department of Justice
Email: info@doj.gov.ph; communications@doj.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Voice:+63(2) 911-6193, Fax:+63(2) 911-6213

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission On Human Rights
Telefax: 929-0102, 928-5655, 926-6188
E-mail: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com

Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
Tel: 373-97-87
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III
Chair, Justice and Human Rights Committee
Philippine Senate
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 loc. 5548
Direct Lines: (632) 822-9758
Fax No.: (632) 822-9759
Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com

Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr.
Chair, Human Rights Committee
House of Representatives
Tel: (632) 931-5001; local 7051, 9518974

Hon. Renante I. Ocando
Mayor, Municipality of Cabanglasan
Tel.: 0917-718-7079

Hon. Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr.
Governor, Province of Bukidnon
Provincial Capitol, Malaybalay City
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June 12, 2016   No Comments