While singing this song entitled, Kalinga, Bumangon Ka, which was composed during the height of the anti-Chico Dam struggle, members of the Innnabuyog-Kalinga are reminded of their responsibility as umili to defend once again their ancestral lands from the encroachment of so-called “development projects”: proposed dams along the Chico River under Pres. Duterte’s Build, Build, Build, Chevron’s geothermal project in the tri-boundary of Pasil, Lubuagan and Tinglayan, etc. which would mean the destruction of their livelihood and their way of life as Kalinga peoples.
BAGUIO CITY – Ricardo P. Mayumi, an indigenous people’s leader in Tinoc, Ifugao was killed by suspected state military agents of a hydropower project on March 2, Friday.
Suspected hired goons of the mini hydro project and CAFGUs visited his house several time asking his family the location of Mayumi.
Mayumi was known for being fierce in his stance against destructive energy projects such as the Quadriver and Sta. Clara mini hydropower plants in Tinoc.
He was one with the Kalanguya people of Tinoc in successfully opposing and stalling these projects.
In a statement, the Ifugao Peasant Movement said Mayumi joined several dialogues with the NCIP, DENR, and with Congressman Baguilat, Cotamco, and Umali.
He stood his ground in defending the ancestral land and was repaid with death threats through calls and text messages.
Ten members of the IPM, including Mayumi received death threats using the picture of the gamong, the Ifugao burial blanket suspected to be from the State security forces.
Mayumi attended political prisoners court hearings with William Bugatti, then IPM’s Human Rights Officer. When Bugatti was gunned down after a court hearing, Mayumi was one of the first respondents who stayed with Bugatti’s body while the family was being contacted.
“We call on our kakailian and peace-loving individuals to condemn the killing of Mayumi and join us in seeking justice for Mayumi and all victims of human rights violations. Together let us rise up to fight tyranny and put an end to extrajudicial killings and the culture of impunity that reigns in the country,” said a statement by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. # (Norwin Gonzales/Northern Dispatch)
BAGUIO CITY— Activist organizations condemn the surveillance and harassment of a Cordillera youth leader by two men suspected to be state security agents.
Benguet indigenous youth leader Rima Mangili-Libongen had been subjected to surveillance, harassment and vilification by suspected state security agents since May this year, the Kabenguetan Agkaykaysa nga Ilaban ken Aywanan ti Biag, Daga, ken Kinabaknang, or Benguet Unite to Defend and Nurture Life, Land, and Resources (Kaiabang) and the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA)-Benguet Chapter said.
Kaiabang said the two suspects could only aim to intimidate Mangili-Libongen into stopping her leadership and organizing work, which colleagues fear may go beyond stalking and harassment.
Mangili-Libongen is a member of the famed music group Salidummay and Secretary General of Bileg ken Urnos dagiti Agtutubo nga Ybenguet (Buday, Strength and Unity of the Benguet Youth).
A 35-year old mother of three and residing in Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, Mangili-Libongen had been organizing youth and children for the theater arts and the Cordillera people’s movement since her college days at the Benguet State University in the early 2000s.
Mangili-Libongen has been tailed in Itogon where she lives and in this city, with one of the suspects monitoring the proceedings of the youth assembly she facilitated at the Itogon town training center in Bua, Tuding last May 30, the group said.
The harassment reportedly continued until the early morning of June 3 while Mangili-Libongen was at Shopper’s Lane in Baguio City with one of the suspects grabbing her forearm.
The man only released Mangili-Libongen’s arm when shopkeepers and passersby took notice.
The two men immediately left, Kaiabang said.
After the incident, Rima received a text from an unknown number saying, “Marami ka palang pinupuntahang lugar” (So you go to many places).
Alarmed that she may be harassed again, Mangili-Libongen changed her phone number but received another text message on June 8 that said “Tukoy ka na.” (You’ve been pinpointed.)
Impunity under Duterte
The CPA for its part said it could only be state agents who are behind the incidents.
“Comfortable in the impunity afforded them by the present dispensation, the military and police are capable of anything these days – as they were at the time of Marcos’s Martial Law and Macapagal-Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya,” the CPA said.
In April, rights group Karapatan submitted to the United National Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights a list of 47 cases of political extrajudicial killings under the Rodrigo Duterte government.
“These killings are all in the context of the counter-insurgency programs implemented from one regime to another that supposedly seek to end the armed rebellion of revolutionary movements in the Philippines,” Karapatan in its letter said.
“The victims of killings are peasants, indigenous peoples and workers. Many faced harassment and villification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights defenders,” the group added. # (Olga Lauzon/Northern Dispatch for Kodao Productions. Featured image from the CPA.)