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  • Writer's pictureKATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas

IP orgs, advocates commemorate IDWIP thru protest vs. disinformation, fascism



Disinformation may not seem like a matter of life and death. But for indigenous peoples (IPs), this increasing wave of false information can strengthen existing systems of discrimination and oppression. For IPs in the Philippines, disinformation has resulted in imprisonment, torture, even death. In the past years, relentless red-tagging has been deployed with a view to committing violence with impunity. Thus, for leaders with an authoritarian bent, disinformation is a weapon that they wield with an intent to kill.


Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (IDWIP), we join hands with the rest of the nation in fighting for the truth. We stand in front of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to condemn its consistent peddling of fake news. Among these: that free, prior, and informed consent was given to reopen our ancestral lands to destructive mines like Tampakan and dams like the Gened, Alimit, and Kanan-Kaliwa-Laiban; and that the collective terms Lumad, Igorot, and Tumandok shouldn’t be used as they are “New Peoples Army (NPA)” terms.


The meaning of such collective names are being revised before our very eyes. In reality, they are associated with our communities’ resistance against colonization, assimilation, and fascism. Our collective memory of struggle is being distorted and invalidated to favor Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who repeatedly claims that his father cared for IP—never mind those who were assassinated like Apo Macliing Dulag or Pedro Dungoc.


As we resist the claws of big business on our ancestral lands, as our lives and freedoms are threatened as a result of our resistance, we are now being slapped with lies and distortion regarding our history and identity.


Through the red-tagging of IP leaders, our human rights have been flagrantly violated. In the past years, at least four massacres have been documented, killing nine Tumandok, three Dumagat, three Lumad, and seven T’boli-Manobo. Under the Duterte presidency alone, 102 IPs fell victim to extrajudicial killings.


The self-established schools of the Lumad were also painted as red “NPA schools” by the military, even by Duterte himself, resulting in their forcible shutdown.


We have been imprisoned and deprived of leadership through trumped-up charges such as the arrest and continuing detention of Datu Jomorito Guaynon, SANDUGO council member and chairperson of Kalumbay IP organization in Northern Mindanao. This is also the case with an indigenous woman, Julita Gomez. The Cordillera Peoples Alliance has also been targeted by numerous demonization and threats to its members on social media.


Even our allies in the defense of our rights have not been spared from the violence, as was the case with the August 6, 2018 assassination attempt on Brandon Lee, a citizen of the United States and para-legal volunteer with the Ifugao Peasant Movement, and the freezing of the bank account of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines for helping Lumad people in establishing the schools and other community-based programs. Our volunteer teachers were either threatened, arrested, or killed, such as in the case of Chad Booc and Jurain Ngujo who were massacred in February 2022. Both Booc and Ngujo were red-tagged before they were killed.


The truth is the NCIP has brought disunity among our communities, using some members of the tribe to push for the exploitation of natural resources in our lands. NCIP chairperson Allen Capuyan’s nonstop red-tagging of IP organizations and advocates reveals his militarist orientation to “neutralize” his perceived enemies at all costs.


We, struggling IPs and IPs’ rights advocates, will not be fooled. We know that those that invent another story are covering up the sins of murderers and plunderers. We are here to fight. #



Signatories:


KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas

Bai Indigenous Women’s Network

Katribu Youth

Sandugo - Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-determination

Tunay na Alyansa ng Bayan Alay sa Katutubo

Tignayan ti Agtutubo ti Kordilyera para iti Demokrasya ken Rang-ay

International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-determination and Liberation


Reference:


Kakay Tolentino

National Council of Leaders Member

KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas

National Coordinator

Bai Indigenous Women’s Network

0927 549 6238


Eufemia Cullamat

Council Member

Sandugo - Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-determination

09176890917

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