Philippines: Stop The Terrorist Tagging And Vilification Of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance strongly denounces the intensified terrorist tagging and vilification of indigenous human rights defenders in the Cordillera Region. In recent days, we learned of another wave of attacks to our officers and members no less the handiwork of this fascist regime.

Last week in Ifugao, flyers were seen in Lamut municipality bearing 27 names of individuals red-tagged or vilified. The said list includes members of CPA-Ifugao and the regional CPA, to include CPA Advisory Council member Beverly Longid who is also a former CPA chair, Abie Anongos of the CPA’s Executive Committee, Audrey Beltran of the CPA Regional Council and CPA pioneer Sarah Abellon, who also faced trumped-up charges earlier.

Days before, a certain Soledad Balocnit from Dupag, Kalinga wrote to the Taiwan Embassy in Manila vilifying the CPA and cultural activist Alma Sinumlag of the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK), a member organization of the CPA. CPA with the DKK and Cordillera Youth Center earlier hosted solidarity partners from Taiwan in a successful cultural exchange. The writer insinuates that CPA and the DKK are terrorists with a “terroristic agenda” thus endangering the visitors form Taiwan. Upon verification with our chapter in Kalinga, no such person exists in Dupag Barangay. For one, the letter was not even signed or dated, only bearing an email address and a general address of Dupag, Tabuk, Kalinga. Anyone can create an email address. Alma was constantly harassed by military agents during the cultural exchange.

It was not very long ago that pioneers, past and present officers of CPA were maliciously included in the Department of Justice (DoJ) proscription petition alluding that they are terrorists. Earlier, trumped-charges were filed against Cordillera women activists such that Rachel Mariano remains detained

For more than three decades, CPA served in the interest of Cordillera communities, for the defense of ancestral land and self-determination. Nothing is terroristic about this. On the contrary, CPA is the victim of State terrorism with the historical imposition of State fascism and national oppression. The Duterte regime is hell-bent on silencing its critics but CPA, with the rest of indigenous peoples in the country, will stand together to defy this and prove time and again that the real terrorist is the US-Duterte regime.

We appeal to all kakailian to join us in calling for genuine peace for the Cordillera and the rest of country by calling for a stop to harassment, intimidation, vilification, EJKs of indigenous human rights defenders.

Activism is not terrorism!

For reference:

Bestang Dekdeken

Secretary General

Source: Cordillera Peoples Alliance

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