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Human rights raps in the Philippines

Human Rights Day 2015 in the Philippines with street protests on violations under a neocolonial regime. Speakers include torture victim Fr. Ben Alforque and KARAPATAN secretary-general Tinay Palabay. The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) also demanded the release of Palestinian leader Khalida Jarrar and all political prisoners.

Kodao wins three awards at 3rd Gawad Agong

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Kodao Productions won two major awards and one special citation at the 3rd Gawad Agong Journalism Awards for excellence in reporting indigenous peoples issues held at the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications last October 29.

IMG_5971Kodao’s photo essay “The Banwaon children of Balit”( https://kodao.org/2015/03/16/the-banwaon-children-of-balit/ ) and its November 25, 2014 Tala-Akayan episode “Manilakbayan ng Mindanaoan, panawagan para sa katarungan” (https://kodao.org/2014/11/25/tala-akayan-kodaoveritas-indigenous-peoples/ ) were awarded first prizes in the photojournalism and radio categories, respectively.

The winning photo essay was written and photographed by Kodao’s director for radio Raymund Villanueva who also co-hosts Tala-Akayan, the twice-weekly radio show Kodao co-produces with the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) and airs over Radio Veritas 846-Am every Tuesdays and Thursdays.  PCPR’s Fr Delfo Canceran, OP co-hosts Tala-Akayan.

Villanueva, an Ibanag, was also cited for being a notable indigenous person media practitioner, along with Union of Catholic Asian News’ Jose Torres Jr, a Subanen.  Villanueva previously received three finalist certificates in both radio and online news categories in the first two staging of the awards.

This year’s winners included Bulatlat.com’s Dee Ayroso for her news report “Lumad women: ‘Our place is in the struggle’”, InterAksyon and News5’s Bernard Testa for his multi-media report “Disrupted Dreams:  Lumad children’s art portrays their hopes and fears”, GMA News TV’s Jay Sabale for his television report “Grupo ng mga Lumad sa Mindanao tuloy ang protesta laban sa gubyerno”, and GMA News TV’s Malou Mangahas for her documentary “What is the costs of building a sanitary landfill?”

IMG_5829Weekly newspaper Northern Dispatch and Radio Sagada were declared winners of the first Gawad Agong citation for media outfits established by and for indigenous peoples.

GMA Network’s Tina Panganiban Perez was also awarded a citation for her television report “Mga Mangyan sa Puerto Galera nanganganib mapaalis dahil sa itatayong landfill” while Kidapawan-based broadcaster Malou Candelina Manar was also cited for her radio programs on indigenous peoples.

The Gawad Agong Journalism Awards is an annual event that “… salute(s)… media workers in print, broadcast, and online who devoted their time, talent, and efforts in covering the real situations and issues of the indigenous peoples.”

Annually organized by Katribu National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples’ Organization in the Philippines, Gawad Agong is under the Indigenous Voices in Asia Project in the Philippines (IVA-Philippines), and is supported by the Swedish Initiative for Development Aid (SIDA) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).

Participants of the Lumad Manilakbayan 2015 handed out the awards to the winners. #

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katribu calls for scrapping of Mining Act of 1995

In commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and with thousands of signatures in hand, members of the Katribu Party and Scrap the Mining Act Network trooped to the House of the Representatives to call for the immediate scrapping of the Mining Act of 1995.

The groups said 20 years of foreign plunder, human rights violations and ancestral land-grabbing are enough. They demand that Congress swiftly repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and enact the Peoples Mining Bill as it displaces and kill IPs opposed to the plunder of their ancestral domain.

This video shows the picket protest outside the Philippine House of Representatives while more of their members have submitted their petitions inside the House of Representatives.

KATRIBU to Speaker Belmonte: Kick Rep. Catamco out as IP committee head

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(Photos from KAMP)

Quezon City – Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU), together with the Sulong Katribu Partylist, Stop the Killings of Indigenous Peoples Network and Save Our Schools Network, held a picket in front of the North Gate of the Congress and filed a letter for Catamco’s dismissal at the House of Representatives. The enraged protesters throw packs of mud at the image of Catamco with a backdrop of caricatures of the military and Oplan Bayanihan.

KATRIBU, the Philippines’ largest indigenous people’s alliance, called for the immediate dismissal of Rep. Nancy Catamco as Chairperson of the House Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples for instigating an unwanted rescue of Manobo evacuees in Davao City, leaving 18 people hurt, disrupted a class being, and left the Manobo children traumatized.

“Catamco has proven that she does not genuinely represent us. On the contrary, she is now an emissary of death for the Manobo evacuees. She used the local police and ALAMARA, a vicious paramilitary group, to instigate an unwanted rescue. She is also forcing them to return to their militarized homes, which they have escaped from due to intensified harassment by the military,” said Piya Malayao, Secretary General of KATRIBU.

Catamco was also caught insulting the evacuees, calling them “stinky”, and disrespecting a Lumad leader during a dialogue. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also slammed Catamco for her incompetence and disregard for local government protocol when she ordered the police to act with her.

“Catamco is not fit to head an important committee in Congress. Catamco stands with the military and acts as their spokesperson. Catamco will endanger not only the Manobo evacuees in Davao but also all IP groups in the Philippines. She is a loose cannon and a vigilante group coddler. It is unbecoming for a representative to engage in gangsterism and harassment, and this will not be the last if she is to be tolerated. We therefore urge House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte to immediately remove Rep. Catamco as the chairperson of the Committee on Indigenous Peoples. Also, we call on Speaker Belmonte to order the House Ethics Committee to immediately investigate the conduct of Catamco as a legislator,” explained Malayao.

KATRIBU also called for the investigation of Catamco’s instigation, her warning to pull out the children and women from the camp during a dialogue with the evacuees. “Her words gave the go signal to the attack and raid of the sanctuary in UCCP Haran, and even undermined Mayor Duterte’s order not to conduct any action without his presence in the City,” Malayao added. #

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P1NAS: Hands off Philippines, independence day twin rally

A twin rally was held last June 12, 2015, independence day in front of China embassy at Makati City and US embassy at Manila, to calls on the Filipino people to stand in defense of national sovereignty and territorial integrity against the foreign powers that seek to tear the Philippines apart.

Chinese Consulate to US Embassy
June 12, 2015

LARAWAN: Defend Philippine Sovereignty

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Chinese Consulate to US Embassy
June 12, 2015

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Aquino Resign: Establish the People’s Council for National Unity, Reform and Peace

Illustrated manifesto of the Noynoy Out Now (NOW) Movement, which was launched March 5, 2015 at the Quezon City Sport Club, laying down the context, basis, and goals of the people’s ultimate drive for the ouster of President Noynoy Aquino.

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More Filipinos now open to Aquino’s resignation

Progressive groups press for President Benigno Aquino’s resignation after both the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry and the Senate revealed he is accountable for the death of police troopers in the Janaury 25th Mamasapano incident.

In a rally at Mendiola, Manila last March 20, the explained that such a call is within the bounds of the Constitution.

The rally also came at the heels of the March 1-7 Pulse Asia survey showing that while 42 percent are not in favor of Aquino’s resignation, 29 percent are for it and 28 percent are undecided.

“This shows that 57% to 58% of respondents are open to idea of the President’s resignation. This is a very significant change in public opinion and shows how Aquino’s support has dramatically eroded,” former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casino said.

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The Mining Act of 1995 is a long-wrought tragedy for indigenous peoples

The benefits of mining argued by mining corporations as compensatory for its immense social costs and environmental destruction is a lie. Mining corporations in collusion with the government paint a rosy picture of mining, insisting on “responsible mining” and “there is life in mining” yet its impacts on the environment and people, especially to the indigenous peoples, tell a different story.

The Mining Act of 1995 is a long-wrought tragedy to indigenous people. It worsens foreign-favored, one sided, anti-people policy of liberalization of the mining industry. It bridges and aggravates the centuries-old foreign plunder of resources in our lands. The Mining Act of 1995 worsens the oppressions against us.

As our ancestors did, we have valiantly defended our lands from the transgressions, and today we defend our land and life from liberalized mining. However, we found ourselves pitted against government forces as they play protector of large-scale mines. Deployment of military forces where there are large-scale mining interests are massive.

As if the massive deployment of military was not enough, the AFP recruits indigenous peoples to paramilitary groups. Reneging its campaign promise to dissolve paramilitary groups at the aftermath of the Ampatuan massacre, President BS Aquino beefs up the viciousness of its armed forces by allowing the formation of paramilitary groups and use them as pawns in counter-insurgency and as mining security. Under the BS Aquino presidency, 50 indigenous peoples, including 6 indigenous women and 6 indigenous children, were slain by the AFP and paramilitary groups.

The violation of human rights of indigenous peoples worsened as a result of mining and militarization. On October 18, 2012, member of the 26th Infantry Battalion strafed the home of Juvy Capion, a Blaan woman and one of the leaders of the Blaan people’s fight against the mining operations of SMI-Xstrata in their ancestral lands. The attack on their home killed and 8 months- pregnant Juvy, and her two young sons. Kitari Capion, Datu Anting Freay, and 16-year-old Victor Freay adds to the lists of Blaan people killed by suspected military forces in the SMI-Xstrata mining site between 2012 and 2013.

Military operations also caused the forced evacuation of communities. Thousands of indigenous peoples repeatedly evacuated in Surigao del Sur, agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Bukidnon among others.

In tandem with violence, the government uses deception to facilatate the entry of mining outfits in ancestral lands. The connivance of the government and mining corporations is best exemplified by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP.) The NCIP is the lead agency in deceiving, manipulating, bribing and dividing indigenous peoples.

Instead of upholding IP rights and welfare against business interests, NCIP only negotiated in favor of the latter. The NCIP conducts “consultations” for mining outfits to fulfill the mandated Free Prior Informed Consent of indigenous communities. However, the FPIC process is riddled with issues of corruption, bribery, and coercion; and it has been used to legalize the entry of development projects in ancestral lands. The IPRA neither projects nor defends the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and self-determination. It is tool of the State, deceptive and lethal, for plunder and exploitations of indigenous people’s lands.

The Mining Act of 1995, aided by the IPRA and strengthened BS Aquino’s very own EO 79 is a deadly combination for the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands and to self-determination.

For us indigenous peoples, the BS Aquino administration brings no respite from environmental destruction, human rights violations, repression, and oppressions similar to past regimes. Its continued implementation of the Mining Act of 1995 is a testament to this fact.

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Bayan Ko: People Power 1 @29

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBFa5FKqoxg

February 25, 2015

This year’s EDSA anniversary coincides with the first month of the Mamasapano incident and what could well be the worst political crisis to hit the Aquino administration. Protests across the nation were held to call for Aquino’s accountability in Mamasapano. In Manila, groups held an interfaith prayer and human chain despite being blocked by hundreds of police along EDSA Santolan.