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

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