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  • Writer's pictureKATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas

KATRIBU to NCIP: Disinformation worsens HRVs vs. IPs

Photo by Ding Llaver.

As expected, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) responded to the anti-disinformation and anti-fascism protest by Indigenous Peoples and rights advocates with, what's new? Disinformation---red-tagging, terrorist-labeling, and invalidation of Indigenous Peoples' legitimate calls.

Far from its mandate to uphold the rights and welfare of Indigenous Peoples, the NCIP became the fascist state’s mouthpiece for its systematic and widespread disinformation campaign against the Indigenous Peoples to discredit their long-standing fight for self-determination, ancestral lands, culture, and tradition. Moreover, this tactic of the state is a tool to delegitimize grassroots and progressive organizations and criminalize dissent. The pretentious pro-Indigenous Peoples agency red-tagged indigenous leaders, including Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-determination Council Member and former Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cullamat, and Indigenous Peoples and human rights organizations during the commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by accusing them as fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New Peoples Army – National Democratic Front.

KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas strongly condemns NCIP and the state’s continuing deceit of the Filipinos. Massive disinformation will never answer Indigenous Peoples' calls and demands. It only aggravates human rights violations, including red-tagging, judicial harassment, and killings, perpetrated by the fascist state against the sector. Indigenous Peoples' opposition against development aggression through imperialist plunder, human rights violations using state policies and laws, and disinformation has been advanced long before the establishment of the NCIP.

The red-tagging and disinformation of the NCIP of progressive groups and individuals aim to divert the issues of Indigenous Peoples and cover up the human rights violations they committed against the sector. Apart from the commission’s neglect of Indigenous Peoples’ rights to ancestral lands and self-determination, it also shrugged on the 142,465 victims of extrajudicial killings (102), frustrated killings (149), enforced disappearances (7), tortures (37), illegal arrest (1,173), threat/harassment/intimidation (19,859), illegal arrests with detention (261), fake surrendering (104), bombings/indiscriminate firings, aerial bombardments (23,111), and forcible evacuations (97,662) in the past six years.

The commission also dared to forward the United Nation's #IDWIP2022 theme "The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge," while underestimating and red-tagging indigenous women like Cullamat and Bai Bibiaon.

“Sa tagal ng pakikibaka ng mga Katutubo para sa sariling pagpapasya at lupang ninuno, walang ginagawa ang NCIP […] Hindi natin maaasahan ang NCIP na makakasama natin sa pagdepensa ng ating karapatan. Nasaan sila ng pinapatay ang mga Katutubo? Nasaan sila nang nanghihimasok ang mga dayuhang kompanya sa lupang ninuno? Nasaan ang NCIP nang ipinasasara ang mga paaralang Lumad? Nasaan sila nang magkampo ang militar sa mga katutubong komunidad?” Cullamat said during the protest.

(In Indigenous Peoples’ long-struggle for self-determination and ancestral lands, the NCIP neglected its mandate. We cannot expect the NCIP to stand with Indigenous Peoples. Where were they when state forces killed members of indigenous communities? Where were they when foreign corporations committed development aggression? Where were they during the forcible shutdown of Lumad schools? Where were they during the militarization of indigenous communities?)

Moreover, the commission manipulates Free, Prior, and Informed Consent processes in indigenous communities directly affected by mega-dam projects such as the Kaliwa Dam in Rizal and Quezon and Gened 1 and 2 dams in Apayao. It doesn't recognize the collective opposition of Indigenous Peoples against the red-tagging of indigenous leaders and killings of members of indigenous communities, such as the victims of the Tumandok, Lianga, and Bloody Sunday massacres.

Now more than ever, we reiterate our calls in protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights to ancestral lands and self-determination. We challenge everyone to #StandWithIPs and defy disinformation and fascism on Indigenous Peoples. Protect Indigenous Peoples' history, identity, and collective struggle. #


Rei Paulin

National Coordinator

KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas



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