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Plunder breeds tyranny

KATRIBU believes the relentless plunder committed by large foreign mining, energy and agro-industrial corporations in ancestral domains pushes the indigenous peoples (IP) to defend their territories with their life. Alas, instead of supporting the IP, the warmonger regime of President Duterte resort to killings, massive militarization of communities and terrorist-tagging of IP leaders and members.

“Of the 447 approved mining applications, 230 can be found in ancestral domain. That is equivalent to 542,245 hectares or 72% of the total mining applications in the country,” said Pya Macliing Malayao, Secretary General of KATRIBU.

Malayao also pointed out that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ closure order of 23 mining operations, suspension of five mining operations and cancellation of 75 Mineral Production Sharing Arrangements (MPSA) in watershed areas, has not yet been implemented but is now at risk of being revoked. Of the 103 mining operation permits set for suspension, cancellation, and closure, 86 can be found in ancestral territories.

Other than mining, the Duterte is aggressively continuing dam and energy projects in ancestral territories. This include the the Agus-Pulangi dams in Bukidnon and North Cotabato; Ilaguen Dam in Isabela, Diduyon Dam, Jalaur Multi Purpose Project and Pan-ay River Basin Integrated Development Project in the Tumandok lands in Iloilo and Capiz; Alimit Hydro Complex of the SN Abotiz in Ifugao, Sumag River Diversion Tunnel in Quezon, and China ODA funded Balog-balog dam in the Ayta lands in Tarlac, and the Violago and Kaliwa dams in the Dumagat territories in Rizal and Quezon.

“These dams are to displace more than 100,000 indigenous peoples from at least 106 villages,” Malayao said.

Malayao added that the unlawful encroachment of foreign corporations to ancestral lands - with the tacit support of the Duterte regime – have caused chaos, hunger, displacement and death to the indigenous peoples.

“But the IP did not stand idle against the transgressions on us and our land. We asserted our collective rights and defended our territories. However, the Duterte regime, instead of upholding the indigenous peoples’ rights, answered with violence,” Malayao said.

Malayao said that from July 2016 to February 2018, Katribu monitored the following human rights violations: 98 IP were illegally arrested and over a hundred face trumped-up criminal cases; 39 IP political prisoners still languish in jail, 22 were detained under the Duterte regime; and 39 IP victims of extra-judicial killings by state armed forces, state-sponsored paramilitary groups and security forces of landlords. Of the 39 EJK victims, 36 are Lumad activists, and 26 were accused of being NPA members or supporters. There were 12 incidents of bombings by the military affecting 1168 families and 6354 individuals, and 34 incidents of forced evacuation due to military operations affecting 6979 families and 24766 individuals.

“Indigenous peoples’ leaders were also tagged as terrorists by the Duterte regime in their desperate attempt to quell the legitimate dissent of the indigenous peoples,” Malayao said.

She said that as the struggle of the IP grew bigger and stronger, the Duterte regime also intensified its brutal attacks through the counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, and the so-called counter-terrorism US Operation Pacific Eagle Philippines.

Malayao said that Pres. Duterte is following the footsteps of the former tyrant, Ferdinand Marcos. And like Marcos, Duterte will fall as he fails to fulfill his promise of change and isolates himself from the people.

“The struggle of the IP against the plunder of our ancestral domains and the fascist attacks and tyranny of the Duterte regime will continue. History has taught us that plunder breeds tyranny, and our collective struggle produces valiant warriors and victors,” Malayao ended.

Source: Katribu

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