Mar 242013

*Statement of the International Solidarity Mission *


*in Defense of Indigenous Communities Fighting Impunity*

20 November 2012, Cagayan de Oro City

20 November 2012, Cagayan de Oro City

20 November 2012, Cagayan de Oro City

20 November 2012, Cagayan de Oro City

We, the members of the International Interfaith Solidarity Mission in Defense of Indigenous Communities Fighting Impunity, call for the government’s immediate response for justice of the displaced Matigsalugs and Tigwahanons who have been in opposition to mining in their communities .This resistance is the reason behind the killing of village and tribal chief Jimmy Liguyon last March 5, 2012.

The two-day fact finding, medical and psycho-social mission held on November 17 -19, 2012 among the Matigsalug and Tigwahanon indigenous peoples who are still currently camped out within the Capitol Grounds of Malaybalay, Bukidnon gathered information on the circumstances surrounding their evacuation, specific human rights abuses on the displaced Lumads associated with a paramilitary group and security forces, and provided urgent health and psychosocial support especially to the women and children.

Among the violations on civil and political rights that the mission discovered was the killing of two other Lumads this year prior and months after Jimmy Liguyon was killed. Abon and Datu Erning Mantugohan were reportedly killed in Slide Dao in San Fernando on January and October this year, respectively. A case of torture, incidents of various harassments and intimidation, and illegal searches and seizures allegedly instigated by New Indigenous People’s Army for Reforms or NIPAR and security forces have also been reported and documented. NIPAR is a paramilitary force attached to the 8th IBPA and said to be pro-mining in the area.

The mission sees the forcible evacuation of the 153 Lumads from their ancestral land because of continuous threats from members of NIPAR and militarization, a gross violation of their social, economic, and cultural rights. Around 15 children have been forced to stop elementary and high school education. More than 10 children have been orphaned due to the killings of their fathers and four children have been separated from family. Sitoy Manlus-ag’s wife and four children are held by the NIPAR. Health and psychosocial workers have also documented the ill-effects of cramped camp settings, and the lack of balanced food and medicine brought by this displacement among the nearly 90 children in the protest camp,

We also express our disappointment on the incident yesterday, November 19, when a certain Lee S. Libertad and other unidentified capitol personnel with orders from the Provincial Administrator suddenly closed the capitol main entrance when mission representatives arrived at the provincial Capitol to present the above results of the two-day activity. Simultaneous with the slamming of the doors was the arrival of at least 50 fully armed policemen who immediately positioned themselves in front of the capitol, aside from those taking pictures and roving in the capitol grounds. We saw this as a clear harassment to stop us from voicing our concerns.

We the mission members, recommend the following:

Justice for Datu Jimmy Liguyon, Abon and Datu Erning Mantugohan!

Arrest Alde Salusad and 14 others!

The Bukidnon police must enforce the warrant of arrest for Nonong and Alde Salusad.

The 8th Infantry Battalion of the 403 Brigade of the Philippine Army to

surrender the Salusads under their custody.

Disband and disarm the NIPAR!

Pull-out the 8th IB from San Fernando, Bukidnon!

Repatriate, rehabilitate, and indemnify the victims!

No to large-scale mining, respect the free, prior, and informed consent of

the lumads!

— *RURAL MISSIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR)* Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources 0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde 9200 Iligan City, Philippines T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179 E: S: rural.missionaries W: *Love that is real and active!* * *

The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in Nov 21st 2012


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