On the Militarization of Higaonon Communities in Misamis Oriental

Militarization tramples Higaonon Indigenous Peoples Right to Self-Determination,
d
isregards their human rights, and violates FPIC!

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) extends its highest solidarity with the Higaonon Lumad peoples of Misamis Oriental, Philippines who struggle to defend their ancestral lands from resource plunder and militarization.

Higaonon people were forcibly evacuated from their ancestral lands after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) occupied their village, and subjected them to threats, harassment, and intimidation. Last May 26, the battalion-size military built their camp in the ancestral lands of Higaonon as a prelude to the entry of so-called development projects. Military camps and detachments in their territory are set up by the State and corporation to quell any resistance from the community and protect the business interests of private entities. The experiences of Higaonon and Lumad peoples underscores militarization as a scheme to force forward development projects in their ancestral lands that do not reflect the genuine needs and aspirations of Indigenous communities. At the expense of the Higaonon’s right to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), local government favors large corporations and businesses.

Threats, violence, and intimidation brought by militarization instill fear in the IP communities. Military elements force the local community to confess that they are members of the communist rebels, New People’s Army (NPA), and surrender. Some of them were tied and rough-handled among other physical abuses.

The rich resources in the ancestral lands of Higaonon in the town of Lagonglong, adjacent to the Mount Balatukan, is known for its hot springs and inactive volcano viable for geothermal energy development. The untouched gold deposits in the nearby lakes has also been reported as target for mining and extractive projects.

For IP and other national minorities, land is life. Indigenous communities have the most important role in determining the future of our ancestral land that is closely linked to our identity and right to self-determination. All forms of development projects and militarization that threaten to plunder ancestral lands and IP ways of life are inexcusable and is a grave violation of our rights.

We call on the all Indigenous communities, IP rights advocates, human rights defenders, and peace advocates all over the world to stand and support the Higaonon’s demand to safely go back to their villages. We demand the total pull out of military forces in our ancestral lands, and any future encampments in any IP territory. Let us fight together to defeat all attempts of exploitation and oppression by the ruling elites. Let us stand in solidarity with all struggling Indigenous communities for the recognition and actual realization of IP right to self-determination and self-determined sustainable development in the Philippines and in all parts of the world.

NO TO MILITARIZATION AND CORPORATE PLUNDER OF ANCESTRAL LANDS!

FIGHT FOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RIGHT FOR SELF-DETERMINATION!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the Government of Bangladesh’s War on Drugs

End Bangladesh’s “War on Drugs”!
IPMSDL’s Statement of Condemnation Against the Government of Bangladesh’s War on Drugs

 

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement on Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) vehemently condemns the Government of Bangladesh’s War on Drugs! Over 130 alleged “drug offenders” have been shot dead and at least 13,000 were arrested by Bangladeshi security forces in nationwide anti-drug operations under the Government’s Zero Tolerance Policy against illegal drugs in May 2018.

This scenario is similar to what is happening in other countries in the region, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia. These governments’ obsession with the war against drugs has cost thousands of innocent lives while many others are still at risk, especially human rights defenders and activists. These so-called wars against drugs have also been used to cover up political and extrajudicial killings which target activists who are farmers, workers, or Indigenous Peoples standing up for their rights.

The war on drugs is not a genuine effort in tackling the perceived drug problem. It promotes rampant human rights violation through its one-sided shootouts and arbitrary arrests instead of investing in public healthcare and rehabilitation services, or better yet, addressing the roots of the drug addiction and social unrest by improving the quality and accessibility of social services that will enable the development of the peoples’ general welfare.

IPMSDL calls for justice for all the victims of the systematic killings and demand that the perpetrators of these atrocities be brought to justice. We also echo the call of civil society organizations in a statement initiated by the International Drug Policy Consortium and the Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs: “Let us remain vigilant to other countries showing signs of adopting similar repressive policies, and initiate constructive and inclusive dialogue at an early stage to avoid further human rights violations in the name of drug control”.

 

STOP EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS! UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS!

JUSTICE FOR ALL THE VICTIMS OF STATE-PERPETRATED VIOLENCE!

LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, IPMSDL Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples’ ‘Free Land Camp’ and the Mapuche’s Fight against the Sky Lican Ray Pino Huacho Project

Stand for The Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Ancestral Lands!

A Statement of Support to the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples’ ‘Free Land Camp’
and the Mapuche’s Fight against the Sky Lican Ray Pino Huacho Project

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) extends its support and solidarity to the struggles of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and Chile! Thousands of Indigenous Peoples (IP) from the 5 regions of Brazil gather in this year’s ‘Free Land Camp’ (Acampamento Terra Livre) happening from April 23 to 27 to demand for the demarcation of their traditional lands by the Brazilian state. Meanwhile in Chile, the Mapuche communities are asserting their right to their sacred space which was recently invaded by the construction of Sky Lican Ray Pino Huacho ecotourism project.

In strong unity, the IPMSDL stands with the Brazil IP community against the attacks of the Brazilian state and by president Michel Temer with his anti-indigenous “Opinion 001/2017 from the Union General-Attorney” or the Territory Registration Law that will rampantly increase land grabbing by making it impossible to register IP lands. This will wipe out almost all IP lands in Brazil in favor of huge agro-business corporations and government businesses, putting at risk the lands, culture, livelihood, and identity of the Brazilian IP.

The IPMSDL also strongly supports the Mapuche communities’ rejection of the construction of Sky Lican Ray Pino Huacho Project in their ancestral lands in the Villarica National Park. The protected area recognized as a National Park is also declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a Biosphere Reserve. The plunder of lands with projects masked as energy and recreational center projects unjustly disregards the ways of life, development, and culture of the IP.

We call on to IP movements, organizations, and advocates to link arms in defense against the violation of our collective rights as Indigenous Peoples! Grave violations of human rights, including threats of arrests and killings by state forces to IP leaders and communities defending their ancestral lands in Brazil, Chile, and in the whole of Latin America have been recorded in past years.

We condemn all forms of violations and destruction of our ancestral lands that put the IP at risk and further marginalization! We join the international IP movement in advancing our rights to self-determination, land, and life!

NO TO SKY LICAN RAY PINO HUACHO IN CHILE!

JUNK THE TERRITORY REGISTRATION LAW IN BRAZIL!

UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RIGHT TO
SELF-DETERMINATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WORLD!

UNITE AND STRUGGLE FOR OUR RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND LIBERATION!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

PRESS RELEASE | ECP Bishops to DoJ Secretary: do the right thing, withdraw terrorist list and continue peace talks

MEDIA RELEASE
May 18, 2018

ECP Bishops to DoJ Secretary: do the right thing, withdraw terrorist list and continue peace talks

In a statement of “deep concern” over the alleged terrorist list filed in court by the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Council of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines (ECP) urged the DoJ Secretary to “withdraw the list if not the petition altogether” as great risk and threats of harassment looms on the individuals listed including two of the ECP’s members – International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Global Coordinator Beverly Longid and the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

The ECP statement was released in response to the DoJ petition filed at the Manila Regional Trial Court last February seeking to tag the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist groups under the Human Security Act of 2007. The petition includes over 600 names accused of membership in the CPP-NPA. Other than Longid and Corpuz, both known as international Indigenous Peoples (IP) rights advocates who are also Indigenous Bontok-Kankanaey from the Mountain Province, IP leaders also found in the list are Joan Carling, Atty. Jose Molintas, Windel Bolinget, Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding, Joanna Carino, Datu Isidro Indao, Datu Mandayhon, and Datu Mampadayag.

“Due to my social involvement, I have experienced threats, harassments, and intimidation from suspected State agents,” Longid said in her personal statement. Similarly, the ECP stated that human rights advocates and ECP members accused of trumped up cases reported being subject of harassments making them vulnerable to unjust vexation – something they believe should have ended during the Martial Law years.

Attacks on IP and human rights activists is “a reaction [of the government] to [the] defense of Lumads caught in the massive military operations launched by Rodrigo Duterte” as Tauli-Corpuz pointed out in an interview. Longid also stressed, “Impunity reigns in my country, and the pronouncements and actions of Duterte show his total disregard for human rights, peoples’ welfare and interests, and rule of law, undermining our tight to speak freely and other basic freedoms.”

The ECP expressed that, instead of vilifying and putting people in great risk, the government must push for the peace talks with the National Democratic Front to prosper by addressing the ‘socio-economic issues [that] have spawned the long-drawn conflict in this land’ and put an end to ‘killing each other for another generation’. The IPMSDL reports that numerous cases of IP rights violations, killings, and attacks on culture and ways of life are the result of state military and para-military abuses carried out under the guise of counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism activities.

“The International IPMSDL organization, and I in my personal capacity, is overwhelmed by this show of solidarity to drop the DoJ terrorist list. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the whole Council,” Longid declared regarding the ECP’s statement. “At the same time, we appeal to all to echo the call to dismiss and delist the names in the DoJ petition and stand for everyone’s democratic rights for lawful dissent without fearing for their safety and security.”

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

CLICK HERE to view the ECP Council of Bishops’ Statement.

On the Struggle of the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador Against Extractivism in the Aguarico River

Protect Indigenous Peoples Lives and Territories!
A Statement of Support to the Struggle of the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador
Against Extractivism in the Aguarico River

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condones the destructive and invasive gold mining and extraction operations in the Aguarico River and the Cayambe-Coca National Park in Ecuador that trample the rights of the Kofan people of Sinangoe over their ancestral lands and territories.

The Kofan Community of Sinangoe, along with several Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities and local organizations, expressed their strong condemnation of the Ecuadorian Government’s awarding of mining concessions within their ancestral territories in a public denunciation released on May 2, 2018 following the Sinangoe Indigenous Guards’ discovery of heavily equipped mining operations in the Aguarico River.

These extractive invasions are illegally operating without any prior consultation with Sinangoe and without a proper environmental license to which Mario Criollo, President of the Cofán de Sinangoe community, referred to as “a direct violation of the Ecuadorian Constitution and international treaties”. The pollution of the river and plunder of forest lands puts the Kofan people’s health, homes, livelihood, and culture at risk. These mining activities are prelude to the Amazon gold rush, which will bring about bigger environmental catastrophes with potentially devastating effects on the lands, waters, forests, and the fragile ecosystem of the region.

The Aguarico River, which extends across some parts of the Amazon rainforest, is the source of life not only of the Kofan people, but of all the Indigenous nationalities living along the Aguarico. Last April 16, the Sinangoe Community joined other mining-impacted communities in a national protest that called upon the government to cancel all new mining concessions and stop all operations in the headwaters of the Aguarico River.

Despite Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s bold pronouncements that not one mining concession will be awarded, the current administration – particularly the Environment Ministry, the Mining Ministry, the National Prosecutor, the Ombudsman Office, and the local governments remain tightlipped and hands-off on the issue.
We call on the international community, IP organizations and advocates to stand with the Kofan and the IP communities of Ecuador and continue to assert our right to our lands, territories, and ways of life! We stand steadfast against extractivism and a system that puts a higher value on profits than indigenous lives and lands.

STOP THE MINING AND GOLD EXTRACTIONS IN AGUARICO RIVER!
FIGHT FOR THE KOFAN PEOPLES RIGHT TO ANCESTRAL TERRITORIES!

SIGN THE PLEDGE: https://www.amazonfrontlines.org/stand-sinangoe/

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

PRESS RELEASE | International Indigenous Peoples Movement praises local councils’ resolution against PH terrorist list

MEDIA RELEASE
May 17, 2018

International Indigenous Peoples Movement
praises local councils’ resolution against PH terrorist list

“Activism is not terrorism. And with the growing support of local councils in the Philippines against the terrorist tagging by the Duterte administration, I am more than thankful for the reassurance that our fight for the rights, freedom, and justice of Indigenous Peoples are legitimate,” said International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) Global Coordinator Beverly Longid, referring to the passing of Resolution No. 27 – 2018 by the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Sagada, the Resolution No. 2018-182 by the Mountain Province Provincial Board, and the Baguio City Council Resolution No. 92.

IPMSDL commends the Municipality of Sagada’s resolution last April 16 “requesting the Department of Justice/Philippine government to drop in its terrorist tag the following persons, namely: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Joan Carling, Beverly L. Longid, Atty. Jose Molintas, Windel Bolinget, Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding and Joanna Cariño.” Similarly, last March 20, the Baguio City passed a resolution “urging the government to drop the ’terrorist’ tag against Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) leaders.”

“As a daughter of the Cordillera, I am glad that these councils recognized that the Department of Justice (DOJ) fabricated the terrorist list in the proscription which includes my name and my colleagues in the CPA. I have been with different internationally-recognized IP organizations and civil society movements here and abroad since the 80s. These councils know us and our passion in advocating for the respect and recognition of IP rights,” Longid, an Indigenous Bontok-Kankanaey, explained.

The DOJ petition for proscription released on February 21, 2018 listed over 600 names for alleged membership in the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) -organizations which allegedly use “acts of terror to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government.”

With the recent killings and illegal arrests of human rights workers and activists, the ‘terrorist list’ merely intensifies the government’s free pass to arrest voices critical of the Duterte government, including IP and human rights defenders. Recently, Fr. Mark Ventura, a Catholic priest and an IP and anti-mining advocate was shot dead in front of children and choir members after having mass in Cagayan last April 29.

“These are dark times indeed for human rights in the Philippines. I recently became a grandmother and I would like to spend time with my family, especially my granddaughter, without fearing for our safety. That’s why I thank all institutions, organizations, and individuals in the Philippines and abroad who echo our call to drop the DOJ petition and guarantee the protection of every activists’ human rights,” ended Longid.

Click on the links to access the resolutions:

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the renewed US-Philippines 34th Balikatan Exercises

NO TO IMPERIALIST MILITARY AGGRESSION IN PHILIPPINES AND ASIA!
STATEMENT ON THE RENEWED US-PHILIPPINES 34TH BALIKATAN EXERCISES

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) calls for the immediate termination and removal of military exercises by the United States (US) Military and other imperialist countries in the Philippines after the opening of the renewed Balikatan Exercises last May 7, 2018. This outright foreign military intervention will further instigate the aggression currently escalating in the West Philippine Sea putting the sovereignty and safety of women, children, and Indigenous Peoples (IP) in grave danger, and the natural environment at risk of destruction.

Major provinces in Central Luzon and Cagayan region, home for Aeta IP villages and other local communities, will be the war games zone to almost 8,000 military forces from the US, Japan, Australia, and Philippines in the guise of improved “counter-terrorism capabilities” for the “eradication of global terror networks.” For the Aeta farmers, this means threats of dislocation from their ancestral lands, as well as disruption of livelihood and ways of life. In Central Luzon, a sprawling 18,000 hectare Camp O’Donnell, a component facility of Clark Air Base which used to be US Air Force’s military base, captured the IP ancestral lands causing major dislocation to thousands of Aetas.

For 70 years under the US and Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) which was signed after World War II, the military machinery of US has mobilized direct and indirect military intervention to protect their political and economic interests in several countries. This militarism impacts against the people in their own countries through increased military bases occupation, proxy wars, intensive intelligence surveillance, and counterinsurgency plans usually employed to quell local dissent to both local and foreign economic and military intrusions.

The fueling of militarist actions is directly tantamount to several cases of massive environmental destruction like the damage caused by the US Navy warship to the World Heritage Site, Tubbataha Reef National Park in Palawan, in 2013 which also victimized indigenous fisherfolks. IP are also exposed to grave human rights violations as seen when 6,000 US troops, double of those deployed in Iran, occupied Zamboanga in Mindanao, where Lumad indigenous communities faced blows of attacks on their houses and schools. Subsequently, military exercises and military deployment target areas that are rich with natural resources which become ideal locations for mining, plantation, extractivism and energy projects by the state and multinational and transnational foreign corporations.

Intensified militarism only jeopardizes IP, peasants, women, fisherfolks, and children, subjecting them and their communities to military atrocities and human rights violations. It escalates environmental plunder and uses third world countries as pawns to global military offensive of imperialist powers. We call for solidarity from all IP and freedom advocates against US intervention and imperialist militarism that threatens the rights of peoples and IP all over the world!

STOP THE US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN PHILIPPINES!
STOP THE BALIKATAN EXERCISES!
FIGHT FOR IP RIGHTS ON ANCESTRAL LANDS AND TERRITORIES!
DOWN WITH US IMPERIALISM!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the Murder of Olivia Arévalo Lomas

Desplácese hacia abajo para la traducción al español

Stop The Killings of Indigenous Peoples!
Condemn the Murder of 89-Year-Old Peruvian IP leader Olivia Arevalo Lomas!

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) expresses its grave condemnation against the murder of 89-year-old Olivia Arevalo Lomas, a leader of Shipibo Konibo Indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon.

Lomas, a staunch Indigenous Peoples (IP) rights defender and a healer using traditional form of singing-medicine, was shot several times without mercy in the chest by a gun man in front of her family and children in the afternoon of April 19, 2018 in her house in Victoria Gracia, Ucayali, Peru.

A death threat with a bullet was sent to another female healer of the Shipibo at the time of the assassination. An alarming spike of death threats, constant harassments, and intimidation have been experienced by IP leaders and communities following their fight against the palm oil company responsible for appropriating and deforesting several hectares of their ancestral territory. On September 2017, six farmers were also murdered by criminal gangs after refusing to give up their lands.

In Peru, and greater part of Latin America and the Amazon forests, growing violence, human rights violations, and displacements due to aggressive land grabbing for plantation and energy projects is escalating. Across the globe, the IP are severely victimized by the rabid plunder and seizure of lands by corporations and States for plantations, dams, highways, or mineral, oil, and gas exploitation.

The extreme vulnerability and grave dangers faced by IP are exacerbated by the failure of the authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of injustice and stop the impunity against human rights abuses. More often, the state, and criminal local armed groups collaborating with huge corporations serve as an instrument to further intensify these attacks.

We call on the government of Peru and private corporations to stop the attacks against the Indigenous communities of Peru and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples to lands, resources, and territories! We demand justice for all the victims of human rights violations in Peru and hold the perpetrators accountable for the brutal killings of all human rights defenders! We call on all IP organizations, advocates and other oppressed peoples across the globe to continue our fight to defend our lands, cultures, and our very identity!

STOP THE KILLINGS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!
UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE WORLD!
UNITE AND STRUGGLE FOR OUR RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND LIBERATION!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

Traducido a través de Google Translate

¡Detener las matanzas de los pueblos indígenas!
¡Condena el asesinato de Olivia Arévalo Lomas, IP líder en Perú!

El Movimiento Internacional de Pueblos Indígenas para la Autodeterminación y la Liberación (IPMSDL) expresa su grave condena contra el asesinato de Olivia Arevalo Lomas, de 89 años, líder del grupo indígena Shipibo Konibo en la Amazonía peruana.

Lomas, defensora de los derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas (IP) y curandera usando la forma tradicional de canto-medicina, recibió disparos sin misericordia en el pecho por un hombre armado frente a su familia y sus hijos en la tarde del 19 de abril de 2018 en su casa en Victoria Gracia, Ucayali, Perú.

Una amenaza de muerte con una bala fue enviada a otra curandera de Shipibo en el momento del asesinato. Un alarmante aumento de amenazas de muerte, acosos constantes e intimidación han sido experimentados por líderes y comunidades de IP después de su lucha contra la compañía de aceite de palma responsable de apropiarse y deforestar varias hectáreas de su territorio ancestral. En septiembre de 2017, seis bandas de delincuentes también asesinaron a seis agricultores tras negarse a ceder sus tierras.

En el Perú, y en la mayor parte de América Latina y los bosques amazónicos, la violencia creciente, las violaciones de los derechos humanos y los desplazamientos debido al acaparamiento agresivo de tierras para proyectos de plantaciones y energía están en aumento. En todo el mundo, las IP son severamente victimizadas por el saqueo y la incautación rapaz de tierras por parte de corporaciones y estados para plantaciones, represas, carreteras o explotación de minerales, petróleo y gas.

La extrema vulnerabilidad y los graves peligros a los que se enfrenta la propiedad intelectual se ven agravados por el hecho de que las autoridades no enjuician a los autores de la injusticia ni detienen la impunidad contra los abusos contra los derechos humanos. Con mayor frecuencia, el estado y los grupos armados locales criminales que colaboran con grandes corporaciones sirven como un instrumento para intensificar aún más estos ataques.

Hacemos un llamamiento al gobierno de Perú y a las corporaciones privadas para que detengan los ataques contra las comunidades indígenas de Perú y respeten los derechos de los pueblos indígenas sobre las tierras, los recursos y los territorios. ¡Exigimos justicia para todas las víctimas de violaciones de los derechos humanos en Perú y responsabilizamos a los perpetradores por los asesinatos brutales de todos los defensores de los derechos humanos! Llamamos a todas las organizaciones de IP, defensores y otras personas oprimidas de todo el mundo a continuar nuestra lucha para defender nuestras tierras, culturas y nuestra propia identidad.

 

¡DETENGAN LAS ASESINATAS DE PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS!
¡MANTENER LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS Y EL DERECHO A LA AUTODETERMINACIÓN Y EL DESARROLLO DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS DEL MUNDO!
ÚNATE Y LUCHA POR NUESTRO DERECHO A LA AUTODETERMINACIÓN Y LA LIBERACIÓN!

 

La referencia: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the struggle for Native Customary Rights of the G6 Communities

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) strongly supports the struggle of the Orang Asal communities of Pitas, Sabah and stands with them in their defense of land, territories, and ways of life against private interests which threaten their Native Customary Rights (NCR).

In a span of three years, over 2,300 acres of mangrove plantation in Pitas, Northern Sabah was cleared to pave the way for the Pitas Shrimp Park, a joint venture between the Yayasan Sabah’s Inno-Fisheries Sdn Bhd and the Sun­light Seafood (Sabah) Sdn Bhd. The villagers had no prior knowledge of the project until it encroached on their land in 2014.

The Mangrove Plantation in Pitas in 2013 and 2018. In less than 3 years, over 2,300 acres of mangroves have been cleared for aquaculture. Photo from Shrimp News International.

This led to the formation of the G6 or the Group of the 6 affected communities namely Kampung Telaga, Kampung Gumpa, Kampung Ungkup, Kampung Boluuh Skim, Kampung Datong, and Kampung Sungai Eloi. The G6, headed by its founder, Mastupai Somong, is at the forefront of the struggle to save the remaining 1,000 acres of mangroves and get the area legally recognized as NCR Land.

The members of the G6 communities are mostly of Dusun, Rungus, Sungai, and Tombonuo descent. The destruction of the area would not only mean the destruction of their livelihood and resources, but also of their Indigenous identities and ways of life as the shrimp park has also affected their means to create traditional medicine, gather building materials, and to practice traditional rituals in sacred sites.

“Development projects” like the Pitas Shrimp Park supposedly bring the promise of job opportunities, roads, and access to basic utilities like water and electricity, but these promises often do not materialize and instead, leaves Indigenous communities in even more unfavorable conditions than before. The Pitas Shrimp Park, which claims to be Asia’s largest aquaculture project, failed to provide jobs for the villagers of Kampung Sungai Eloi. The mangrove swamp, which once was home to a wide diversity of endangered species of flora and fauna, is now a mere waste dump of the companies.

IPMSDL condemns these Inno-Fisheries and Sunlight Seafood’s blatant disregard of the Orang Asal’s right to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). We hold these actors accountable for the Orang Asal’s loss of livelihood and all the ecological damages in their territory. We challenge Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to stand with the Orang Asal and uphold their Native Customary Rights.

We also call on friends, allies, and fellow Indigenous Peoples to stand in solidarity with the G6 in their struggle for FPIC and self-determined development. Let us continue to support and advance the G6’s collective and militant actions to defend their lands and right to self-determination!

Long live the G6 Communities! Protect our ancestral lands!
Uphold the Orang Asal’s Right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent!
Uphold the Orang Asal’s Native Customary Rights!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org

On the Appointment of Retired Col. Capuyan as Undersecretary of IP Concerns in The Philippines

The Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) deplores the further militarization of bureaucracy in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Retired Colonel Allen Capuyan as the new Presidential Adviser for Indigenous Peoples’ concern last April 23.

Capuyan, now head of the task force formed supposedly to “emphasize the need for greater convergence among national government line agencies on IP concerns,” was dragged in cases of corruption and smuggling of illegal drugs in the Bureau of Customs, while he was an official of the Manila International Airport Authority.

He has also been accused as the man behind the wiretapping of the phone call conversation between former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and then Commission on Elections official about allegedly rigging the results of the 2004 national elections. He was the Chief for Operations of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

He also served as the Intelligence Service Unit Chief of Davao City, where President Duterte previously served as the mayor, and was one of the minds behind the intensified military operations in Mt. Diwalwal in Mindanao. By collaborating with local mining corporations and sowing fear in the community through made-up stories about rebel-forces in the area, he was able to justify heavy militarization of the mountain area, thereby evicting Indigenous Peoples from their ancestral land in favor of the mining companies.

The IPMSDL registers its strong disapproval on the militarizing of agencies that assume to safeguard the rights and lives of IP. We remain firm in its call – to genuinely address the needs of the IP, the government should stop selling the ancestral lands of Lumad, Moro, and IP in Mindanao to big foreign investors who run destructive mining and plantation businesses.

The recent massive forced evacuations of at least 30,000 Lumad families, the killings of over 30 Lumad under the Duterte regime, the harassment, food blockade, and intimidation on the students and teachers in Lumad schools in the pretext of the Martial Law extension in the whole of island of Mindanao, only shows the insincerity of the state in genuinely resolving the problems of immense poverty, dislocations, environmental plunder, injustice, and human rights violations that lead to the Lumad’s genocide.

In addition, several IP leaders and advocates have been continuously harassed and silenced and tagged as terrorists by the state using the problematic Human Security Act of 2007. Among those tagged werenational minority leaders from Mindanao like Datu Mandayhon, Datu Mampadayag, and Mamerto Guyanon who are known to actively oppose mining corporation and agribusiness plantations that encroached in their ancestral lands.

We denounce this move by the Duterte administration of further militarizing and sowing terror among IP in the Philippines! We call on all Indigenous Peoples and human rights organizations and advocates to unite against all forms of attacks and brutal repression of the state and corporations to IP leaders and communities! We appeal to the international community to stand with us in the struggle for freedom, ancestral lands, and the right to self-determination and ways of life!

NO TO MILITARIZATION OF CIVILIAN BUREAUCRACY!
WITHDRAW THE MILITARY FROM THE COUNTRYSIDE!
DEFEND ANCESTRAL LANDS!

 

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | info@ipmsdl.org