Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas and KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist put up a ‘tally board’ of extra-judicial killings of indigenous peoples under the Aquino administration along EDSA today. The tally board accounts for the extra-judicial killings of indigenous peoples under President Aquino.
“The killings of our people is deeply alarming,” says KAMP spokesperson Piya Macliing Malayao. “President Aquino may pass this off as just another number, just another statistic of his cruelty and neglect. But to us the 30 indigenous peoples slain by his mercenaries leaves a profound mark on the our struggle for rights to self-determination and ancestral land rights. Most of the indigenous peoples slain mercilessly are leaders and organization members, who are leading struggles against the encroachment of so-called ‘development’ projects and militarization.”
The board now reads 30, the number of extra-judicial slays of indigenous peoples since Aquino took power 28 months ago in June 2010. According to KAMP, all the adult victims were leaders of their communities and organizations, community organizers or activists directly involved in collective actions to defend their ancestral lands against the entry and operation of large-scale mining, agribusiness plantations, and other so-called ‘development projects’ like mega hydro dams that would provide electricity to these business interests.
Four indigenous children were also slain, their parents leaders of indigenous peoples’ organizations. The latest of which is the Capion massacre that occurred last October 18, 2012 in SMI-Xstrata mine site in Tampakan, South Cotabato, that killed Pop Capion, 13, and John, 8. Their mother, Juvy Capion, is a member of KALGAD, an organization of Blaan people resisting the pending mine operations in their ancestral territories.
KAMP members and affiliates are targets
KAMP pointed out that most of the indigenous peoples slain are members or affiliates of KAMP in the provinces and grassroots communities. “Organized and collective actions of indigenous peoples are painful sight to the administration and its armed forces,” Malayao said. Victims are from Kalgad, Linundingan, Pangalasag, KATRIBU Partylist, among others which are members or affiliates of KAMP.
KAMP and its associate indigenous peoples organizations all over the country campaigns against the construction of “destructive and plunderous” large-scale mining, hydro-electric dams, plantations and other projects that will destroy or encroach on indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands. It has also been vocal in human rights issues especially killings and militarization of indigenous communities. “We have gained the State’s wrath in our decades of militant and unrelenting struggle against the violation of peoples rights, and this is the reason for the persecution and killings of our members.” Malayao claimed.
In an AFP document Knowing the Enemy made during the Arroyo administration, KAMP was listed as an enemy of the State, Malayao shared. “As the Aquino administration pursues its counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, a made-over Oplan Bantay Laya of Arroyo, we dread the heightened repression, intensified militarization of our ancestral territories and the increase human rights violations against our peoples. We dread more killings in the four more years of the Aquino administration.”