Stop the construction of the Baram Hydroelectric Dam

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) expresses support to the peoples of Baram to their continuing struggle to stop the construction of the Baram Hydroelectric Dam.

As of this writing, the Baram peoples have been on the blockade sites for 641 days now, which started on October 23, 2013. They are currently barricading two sites, first at the access site near Long Lama and the second one is near the dam site. The said dam is one of 12 large dams under the SCORE or Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy that shall serve as a power source for large industries in Sarawak and neighboring countries. The Asia Development Bank (ADB) funds the construction of the said dam.

If built, the Baram Dam shall displace 20, 000 people in 26 villages along the Baram River and would flood a rainforest area of over 400 km².

The construction of this dam shall dispossess affected communities of their lands and destroy their livelihood. It shall further marginalize the Baram peoples.

We draw inspiration from the unity of the Baram Peoples in their continuous resistance against intrusions in their lands. Like the Kalingas and Bontoks in the Cordillera, Philippines who fought against the construction of the World Bank-funded Chico River Basin Development Project. The peoples’ resistance grew drawing attention and support from all over the world, the peoples’ struggles prevailed the said project was never built.

The IPMSDL extends solidarity to the Baram peoples in your continuing struggle to protect your ancestral land. The victory of your struggle is also a victory of other Indigenous Peoples.   In unity and collective actions we shall prevail.

We call on the Sarawak government to heed the call of the Baram peoples to stop the construction of the Baram Hydroelectric Dam.

Let the Baram River flow.

(Photo credits to www.stop-corruption-dams.org)

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Translation by Google translate (https://translate.google.com.ph)/Traducción de Google translate (https://translate.google.com.ph)

Detener la construcción de la Represa Hidroeléctrica Baram

El Movimiento de los Pueblos Indígena Internacional para la Autodeterminación y Liberación (IPMSDL) expresa su apoyo a los pueblos de Baram a su continua lucha para detener la construcción de la Represa Hidroeléctrica Baram.

Al escribir estas líneas, los pueblos Baram han estado en los sitios de bloqueo de 641 días ahora, que comenzaron el 23 de octubre de 2013. Actualmente están barricadas en dos sitios, por primera vez en el sitio de acceso cerca de Long Lama y el segundo es cerca de la presa sitio. Dicha presa es uno de los 12 grandes presas en el marco del SCORE o Sarawak Corredor de Energía Renovable que servirá como fuente de energía para las grandes industrias en Sarawak y los países vecinos. El Banco de Desarrollo de Asia (ADB) financia la construcción de dicha represa.

Si se construye, la presa de Baram deberá desplazar a 20, 000 personas en 26 aldeas a lo largo del río Baram y inundaría un área de selva tropical de más de 400 km².

La construcción de esta presa se desposeer a las comunidades afectadas de sus tierras y destruir sus medios de vida. Será marginar aún más a los pueblos Baram.

Nos inspiramos en la unidad de los pueblos Baram en su resistencia continua contra las intrusiones en sus tierras. Al igual que el kalingas y Bontoks en la Cordillera, Filipinas que lucharon contra la construcción del río Chico Proyecto de Desarrollo de la Cuenca financiado por el Banco Mundial. Los pueblos resistencia creció llamando la atención y el apoyo de todo el mundo, los pueblos luchas prevalecieron dicho proyecto nunca fue construido.

El IPMSDL extiende la solidaridad con los pueblos Baram en su continua lucha para proteger su tierra ancestral. La victoria de tu lucha es también una victoria de otros pueblos indígenas. En unidad y acciones colectivas vamos a prevalecer.

Hacemos un llamado al gobierno de Sarawak a escuchar la llamada de los pueblos Baram para detener la construcción de la Represa Hidroeléctrica Baram.

Deje que el caudal del río Baram.

IPMSDL Statement on Indigenous Peoples killings

Stop the Killing of Indigenous Peoples!

The Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) strongly condemns the continuous killings of indigenous peoples in the Philippines and in other parts of the world.
Under the BS Aquino government alone, there have been 50 indigenous peoples killed in 20 provinces. The most recent incident took place in Paquibato District, Davao City when the 69th Infantry Battalion under the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army open fired in a gathering last June 14, 2015 killing Datu Ruben Enlog, Garyo Quimbo, and Randy Carnasa. All three belong to the Ata tribe. Enlog was the chairperson of NAGKALUPA, an indigenous peoples and farmers’ organization. Also, in June 25, 2015, Ricky Basig was shot dead, another indigenous people leader from Mandaya tribe. He was a survivor from typhoon Pablo and soon became an active indigenous leader.

However, the Philippines is not the only country suffering from this situation. On May this year, in South Jakarta, Indonesia, Jopi Teguh Lesmana Peranginangin, a member of Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) and an environmental activist was killed. Peranginangin is known for ensuring the welfare of indigenous people. According to the reports and investigations, his perpetrator is a member of the military, possibly from the navy. Last year, in Ecuador, the death of an indigenous leader Jose Isidro Tendetza was linked to his opposition to a state-Chinese mine project. In Colombia, killings of Mario Germán Valencia Vallejo, Belisario Trochez Ordóñez and Cristián David Trochez happened in the midst of demostrations by indigenous communities demanding access to lands, which were supposedly given to them as reparation for human rights violations they experienced in the early 1900s.

As the number of cases of political killings among the rank of Indigenous Peoples continue to rise, other forms of human rights violations are also being committed against them. Trumped up charges, arrests, detention and torture continues. In the Philippines, under the BS Aquino regime, there are at least 41 incidents of forced evacuations in five provinces of Mindanao due to militarization. In the Cordillera, members of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) continuously experience political vilification, harassment and threat due to their strong opposition against hydropower and geothermal energy projects in the province. Recently, some members of the organization received threats with a photograph of a blanket used by Ifugaos for the dead.

For indigenous peoples, land is life. Our livelihood, culture and generation depend on it. Our struggle to fight for our ancestral lands has been part of our histories. However, government has always ignored these struggles and neglected the situation of the indigenous peoples. Worse, indigenous peoples suffer from gross human rights violations perpetrated by their own government.

We call on the Philippine Government, along with its National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), to end the killings of indigenous peoples, prosecute the perpetrators and render justice for the victims.
We appeal to the international community to support the campaign to Stop the Killings of Indigenous Peoples.
We call on the UN Special Rapporteur and concerned UN bodies to conduct an in-depth investigation on the cases of indigenous people killings in different countries.

Lastly, we call on all the indigenous peoples around the globe to unite and continue the struggle for land, life and resources.

Justice for all the indigenous peoples martyrs!

Stop political vilification of indigenous peoples!

Uphold the human rights of indigenous peoples!

Defend our Land, Life and Resources!
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(Spanish translation by Google Translate: https://translate.google.com/)

Detener la matanza de los pueblos indígenas!

El Movimiento de los Pueblos Indígenas para la Autodeterminación y Liberación (IPMSDL) condena enérgicamente los asesinatos continuos de los pueblos indígenas en las Filipinas y en otras partes del mundo.

Bajo el gobierno BS Aquino solo, ha habido 50 pueblos indígenas muertos en 20 provincias. El incidente más reciente tuvo lugar en Paquibato Distrito, la ciudad de Davao cuando el Batallón de Infantería 69a bajo la 10a División de Infantería del Ejército de Filipinas abren despedido en una reunión el pasado 14 de junio 2015 matando Datu Ruben Enlog, Garyo Quimbo, y Randy Carnasa. Los tres pertenecen a la tribu Ata. Enlog era el presidente de NAGKALUPA, de los pueblos indígenas y la organización de los agricultores. Además, en 25 de junio 2015, Ricky Basig fue muerto a tiros, otro líder de los indígenas de Mandaya tribu. Él era un sobreviviente del tifón Pablo y pronto se convirtió en un líder indígena activa.

Sin embargo, Filipinas no es el único país que sufre de esta situación. En mayo de este año, en el sur de Yakarta, Indonesia, Jopi Teguh Lesmana Peranginangin, miembro de Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) y activista del medio ambiente fue asesinado. Peranginangin es conocido por garantizar el bienestar de los pueblos indígenas. De acuerdo con los informes e investigaciones, su autor es miembro de las fuerzas armadas, posiblemente de la marina. El año pasado, en el Ecuador, la muerte de un líder indígena José Isidro Tendetza estaba vinculada a su oposición a un proyecto de la mina-china estatal. En Colombia, los asesinatos de Mario Germán Valencia Vallejo, Belisario Trochez Ordóñez y Cristián David Trochez ocurrieron en medio de demostraciones de las comunidades indígenas que demandan el acceso a las tierras, que fueron supuestamente dadas a ellos como reparación por violaciónes de derechos humanos que han experimentado en el año 1900.

A medida que el número de casos de asesinatos políticos entre el rango de los pueblos indígenas siguen aumentando, otras formas de violaciónes de derechos humanos también se están cometiendo en contra de ellos. Cargos falsos, arrestos, detenciones y tortura continúa. En Filipinas, bajo el régimen de BS Aquino, hay por lo menos 41 casos de evacuaciones forzadas en cinco provincias de Mindanao debido a la militarización. En la Cordillera, los miembros del Movimiento Campesino de Ifugao (MIP) experimentan continuamente vilipendio político, el acoso y la amenaza debido a su fuerte oposición a los proyectos de energía hidroeléctrica y la energía geotérmica en la provincia. Recientemente, algunos miembros de la organización fueron amenazados con una fotografía de una manta utilizada por ifugaos por los muertos.

Para los pueblos indígenas, la tierra es la vida. Nuestro medio de vida, la cultura y la generación dependen de ello. Nuestra lucha para luchar por nuestras tierras ancestrales ha sido parte de nuestra historia. Sin embargo, el gobierno siempre ha ignorado estas luchas y descuidado la situación de los pueblos indígenas. Peor aún, los pueblos indígenas sufren de violaciónes graves de los derechos humanos perpetradas por su propio gobierno.

Hacemos un llamado al Gobierno de Filipinas, junto con su Comisión Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas (CNPI), para poner fin a los asesinatos de los pueblos indígenas, juzgar a los responsables y hacer justicia a las víctimas.

Hacemos un llamamiento a la comunidad internacional a apoyar la campaña para detener los asesinatos de los Pueblos Indígenas.

Hacemos un llamado a la Relatora Especial de la ONU y organismos interesados de las Naciones Unidas para llevar a cabo una investigación a fondo sobre los casos de personas matanzas indígenas en diferentes países.
Por último, hacemos un llamamiento a todos los pueblos indígenas de todo el mundo a unirse y continuar la lucha por la tierra, la vida y los recursos.

Justicia para todos los mártires de los pueblos indígenas!

Deje de denigración política de los pueblos indígenas!

Defender los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas!

Defender nuestra tierra, Vida y Recursos!

CALL for SOLIDARITY and SUPPORT for the International Peoples’ Tribunal 2015, 16-18 July 2015

CALL FOR SUPPORT

 We are human rights defenders, peace and justice advocates, lawyers, jurists, academics, church people, and political activists who have come together to convene the International Peoples Tribunal on Crimes against the Filipino People by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III and the US Government represented by Pres. Barack Obama.

We will be holding this tribunal in Washington DC from the 16th to 18th of July 2015 at the behest of victims of human rights violations and other crimes committed under the Presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III in the Philippines. The victims and their relatives — belonging to a wide spectrum of social classes and sectors in Philippine society – are represented by the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice), KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of the People’s Rights), Hustisya! (Victims United for Justice), DESAPARECIDOS (Families of the Disappeared for Justice), SELDA (Society of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest), BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) among others.

The Tribunal’s verdict shall be based on a thorough and fair assessment of the evidence by leading public figures of recognized achievement and high moral stature, in accordance with applicable legal standards.

Like other peoples tribunals, the IPT 2015, as a court of public opinion, derives its legitimacy from the people as the ultimate source of the authority of all national and international laws.

As such the IPT’s findings and recommendations will carry strong moral and persuasive force. We shall transmit these to the United Nations, various Parliaments and governments, as well as broad international organizations in order to add pressure on the Philippine government to end impunity in the country. The IPT 2015 shall serve due notice to the perpetrators of gross human rights violations and plunder that impunity shall not go unchallenged by the people.

We call on all freedom loving peoples of the world to support the victims, witnesses and the Filipino people in making their oppressors accountable for their crimes!

The Rev’d Canon Barry Naylor

Chairperson, Global Council, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)

Jeanne Mirer

President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)

Vanessa Lucas

Chair, Philippines Subcommittee, National Lawyers Guild

Antonio Tujan, Jr.

Executive Director, IBON International

ICHRP                   globe                  NLG                  ibon

For information:www.internationalpeoplestribunal.org or Email us: inquire@humanrightsphilippines.net

REQUEST FOR SOLIDARITY on the worsening political vilification including threats to indigenous human rights activists and development workers in Ifugao

We thank the IPMSDL members and partners who participated in the campaign event “Wear Blue Saturday – Nurture the Environment and Uphold the Human Rights in Ifugao.” Amidst worsening vilification and repression, our solidarity and those from many others strengthens the resolve of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) to persevere in the struggle for land, justice, and self-determination. Long live the Ifugao Peasant Movement! Long live international solidarity!

In an update provided by the IPM, the Ayangan tribe who is affected by SN Aboitiz’ 380 MW hydroelectric power project decried violations on the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process last July 4 and 5 in fora held in Lagawe and Lamut municipalities of Ifugao. The tribe members are worried because the company has started drilling activities within their territory without their permission.

Below is an open letter of Rene Abiva, a political detainee in Ifugao. He has been imprisoned for more than two years now.”

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AN OPEN LETTER FROM A POLITICAL PRISONER

“It is now the time for the light of truth to shine; it is now the
time for us to show that we have feelings, honor, shame, and mutual
cooperation… therefore, O my countrymen! Let us open the eyes of our
minds and voluntarily consecrate our strength to what is good in the
true and full faith that the prosperity of the land of our birth, which
is aimed at, will come to pass.”- Andres Bonifacio_

I am Rene Boy Abiva, a political prisoner here in the Philippines and
currently detained under the custody of the Bureau of Jail Management
and Penology-Cordillera Administrative Region (BJMP-CAR). I am one of
the hundred political detainees in the whole archipelago languishing due
to fabricated charges.

Rene Boy Abiva
Rene Boy Abiva

More than two years behind bars and barbed wires is never easy. Every
day is a day of psychological torture. Each day is a struggle of the
human spirit to consolidate itself to endure total isolation from the
society. I became a stranger in my own nation. I think, this is the
government’s objective: to pacify one’s “politik” in actual
engagement for the near de-construction and construction of a new
Filipino society.

Before my arrest, I worked as a community social worker in Baggao in
the province of Cagayan under the regional office of the Department of
Social Welfare and Development-Field Office 02 (DSWD-F02). My main task
was to facilitate and expedite programs of the national government to
alleviate poverty. The gap of the rich and poor in the area, like the
rest of the provinces in the Philippines is high, but government program
was shallow and short-sighted and thus resulted in chaos. Beyond
language and symbol, the Filipino version of the Conditional Cash
Transfer (CCT) is merely a “dole-out” and never hit the root of the
problem of the Philippine society. It just serves the greedy interest of
the ruling class and the politicians, thus, in the long run, will bring
individuals and families into total catastrophe.

During weekdays, I am a social worker but weekends were spent studying
at the Graduate School of the Cagayan State University under its
academic program Master of Arts in Social Studies. Recognizing the need
for sectoral participation in social transformation, I helped in
arousing, organizing and mobilizing public school teachers under the
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT). Teachers need a nationalist,
militant and progressive organization for the actualization of their
aspirations as agent of enlightenment. They are also victims of tyranny,
anarchy and hegemony. Their day-to-day experiences, like common class
experiences of the peasants and workers, are manifestations of the kind
of society the Philippines has. The educational system they are in is
repressive, oppressive and commercialized,-a common denominator of a
society that has been colonized and is continually controlled by outside
powers. Even now, educations main function is to supply the increasing
need of market capitalism.

It was December 28, 2013, a day that turned all things into
repercussion-the day of my arrest. The ambience was a mixture of pain,
sorrow, fear, anger, powerlessness and all virtual inexhaustibility of
its finitude. I saw tears in the eyes of a hundred program
beneficiaries, co-workers, relatives, friends, comrades and my wife.
This consecration of the emotions is like triggering an explosion to its
magnitude. And spending the first New Year in an isolated cell, guarded
by a platoon of police and soldiers was unforgettable. The scene was
terrible. What made me worry and nervous was their autocratic and
militaristic efforts to hide my arrest and possible transportation from
the burning eyes of the public.

I am a prisoner now and dressed in yellow shirt. A problematic analogy
now exist and like the assumed resonance of the imprisonment of the soul
within the body is same to the imprisonment of man to his own society.
Life behind thick and high walls, gripped with deadly, poisonous and
sharp combat wires is a repetitive compulsion and fetishism. The stomach
can no longer digest food and the flesh is hungry and ready to rebel.
Prison reminds us, not only the dungeon type cell of St Paul but also
the deception behind laughs, jokes, shouts of prisoners is a bottomless
pit of agony, This is not a fiction or part or system of rhetorically
creative thinking and writing but rather a concrete reflection of human
and class sublimation. Like the analogy of Antonio Gramsci, It’s like
being caught between the old and slowly dying social regime and a new
social regime that has not yet fully emerged from the womb of the old.

Now, the province of Ifugao where I’m detained is converted into a
garrison. Aside from having its three political prisoners, members of
the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) were in an alarming condition. State
security forces systematically launch vilification and red tagging
campaign against leaders and members who show sympathy and support to
political prisoners and to their struggle on all forms of large and
destructive foreign mining. The State often link people’s movement to
the New People’s Army- the armed wing of the Communist Party of the
Philippines.

To suppress this collective praxis, state security forces mobilized its
paramilitary units and executed William Bugatti, one of the indigenous
people’s leaders. He was shot treacherously at his back in March 25,
2014 after our court hearing. Before his death, comrade William was
vilified as an NPA supporter and later figured in a 2012 target list of
the 86th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army where he was labeled
as “brains of the NPA”.

Brandon Lee, one of the IPM volunteer received a death threat last
April 2015. Lee is one of the few people living in Ifugao who visits the
political detainnees. In an article in the Weekly Newspaper Northern
Dispatch, he says members of the IPM and community leaders received a
brown manila envelope that contains a photo of a rectangular Ifugao
woven cloth laid on the ground. The photo also bears the caption “gray
May, June gloom, no sky July”. According to the Ifugao customs and
traditions, the woven article is used to wrap the dead and the manner
that it was laid on the ground in a rectangular structure signifies the
dimensions of a grave. It is clearly a bastardization of the Ifugao
culture to use the ‘traditional blanket of the dead’ for other
intentions especially death threats.

My defense lawyer, Atty. Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon experienced
series of harassment and threat after Bugatti’s death. Men with
military built roam around her law office in the province of Isabela.
Civilian intelligence assets were also used to gather information on her
whereabouts. Malicious and baseless accusations that she has connections
to the revolutionary underground were also released.

Is this the price of serving the people? Is this the price of our
collective articulation for our country’s search for a new meaning to
render the genuine and fundamental value of being with humanity? Or the
price of revealing that behind the valorized slogans of “daang
matuwid”, “democracy”, “liberty” and “corruption free” is
a life of exclusive beauty, wealth, power, grandeur and luxury of the
few elite ruling the country?

What does it all mean? It simply means that the puppet BS Aquino regime
is so desperate to cover all its terroristic and dirty work. This regime
is maximizing the use of its apparatuses like the Courts, Military and
Bureaucracy to interrupt and to create gap and confusion to the radical
transformation and alternative that the peoples’ movement will bring.

This is the specter that haunts the reactionaries state metaphysics ,
idols and icons, mimetic representation, and like a machine that
assembles the molecular indices and intensifies to dismantle all
apparatuses of hegemonic power. And this machine, this concrete
symbolism of the people’s will and desire-the endless root of their
striving- to build their own destiny, history and resurrection. Above
all, the melting point of all metaphors, of course, is the reality.

Imprisonment, hard and harsh, is a tool and method to hegemonize other
prevents the power of human spirit to enlighten the whole. This
revolutionary spirit and enlightenment, is more powerful than any weapon
in history because it has the ability and potentials beyond myth and
parable to bombard camps and detachments of reaction. The task of the
spirit, through the realization of their striving and discontent. To
borrow Leon Trotsky’s confession before his execution: “I can’t
stop believing in reason, in human solidarity, failures and
disappointments can’t stop me from seeing beyond the present defeat to
a rising of the oppressed everywhere. This is no Utopian prophecy, It is
the sober prediction of a dialectical materialist. I have never lost
faith in the revolutionary power of the masses. But we must be prepared
for a long fight. For years, maybe decades of revolt, civil wars, new
revolts, new wars.”

Comrades, let us continue supporting all calls and campaigns for the
immediate release of all political prisoners, national liberation and
the total smashing of all forms and types of reactions. We already
interpreted the world; the point now is how to change it.

Yours truly,

Rene Boy Abiva
Political Detainee
BJMP-CAR
Kiangan, Ifugao

Rights groups and victims relatives call for the immediate release of Abiva, Corpuz, Vegas and Camposano who were allegedly arrested on fabricated charges.  (Macky Macaspac)
Rights groups and victims relatives call for the immediate release of Abiva, Corpuz, Vegas and Camposano who were allegedly arrested on fabricated charges. (Macky Macaspac)

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Dear All,

Our friends from Ifugao is requesting for support and solidarity in bringing to the attention of the Philippine government to address the worsening political vilification including threats to indigenous human rights activists and development workers. Recently, some of our colleagues working with the Ifugao Peasant Movement received threats with a photo of a blanket used by Ifugaos for the dead. It can be recalled that our colleague and friend, William Bugatti, who is from Ifugao and has been working with indigenous communities was gunned down by unidentified men last year and his case remains unresolved to date. William Bugatti is the Regional Council member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-KARAPATAN, Regional Council member of the Cordillera People’s Alliance representing the Ifugao Peasant Movement, and the provincial coordinator of Bayan Muna partylist. Despite threats to his life and security, he diligently assisted political prisoners and other victims of human rights violations until the day he was assassinated. He is survived by his wife and sons.

Ifugao particularly Tinoc (my hometown) is currently facing issues on extractive energy projects (hydropower and geothermal) which has been a cause for division among the communities. The projects are small scale in nature but the equitable benefit sharing has not been ensured and the impacts have not been clearly shared and explained to the affected communities. A number of our community leaders in Tinoc including human rights workers in Ifugao were included in the target list of the military.

To express your support to end death threats and political vilification in Ifugao and the  struggle of the indigenous communities there to defend their land and resources, colleagues from the Philippines are requesting everyone to take a selfie/group photo with a placard “nurture the environment and uphold human rights in Ifugao” or you can make your own then post to facebook. #defendIfugao here’s the facebook page of this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1875391569352794/1875723905986227/ and here’s the page of the Ifugao Peasant Movement:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009510050222.

A letter of concern addressed to relevant government officials in the Philippines will be circulated soon for your endorsement.