PRELIMINARY REPORT: International and Interfaith Solidarity Mission In Defense of Indigenous Communities Fighting Impunity

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The KALUMBAY Regional Lumad Organization, KARAPATAN Northern Mindanao Region, Community-Based Health Services (CBHS)-Northern Mindanao, Asia Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP), KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) organized an International and Interfaith Solidarity Mission (ISM) in Defense of Indigenous Communities Fighting Impunity on 17-19 November 2012 at Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines. The ISM was hosted by KASILO (Kaugalingong Sistema Igpasasindog te Lumadnong Ugpaan), an organisation of Matigsalug indigenous peoples based in San Fernando, Bukidnon. Ms. Beverly Longid, President of KATRIBU, joined the mission.

The Mission had the following objectives, to:

  1. Gather further information on the circumstances surrounding the mass evacuation of the Matigsalog and Tigwahanon indigenous peoples particularly of Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon;
  2. Document human rights abuses perpetrated by the military, New Indigenous People’s Army for Reforms (NIPAR) and other State security forces against the said indigenous peoples;
  3. Express solidarity and support to the Matigsalogs and Tigwahanons in defense of ancestral land, for justice against human rights abuses and internal displacement;
  4. Gather broader support for the campaign to arrest Alde “Butsoy” Salusad, and to disarm and disband NIPAR; and
  5. Present the ISM results to concerned local and national government agencies and units.

In line with the said objectives, it conducted the following activities:

  1. Medical services especially for women and children;
  2. Collective psychosocial processing specifically for the children;
  3. Documentation of reported human rights violations from January 2012-November 18, 2012; and
  4. Dialogue with the Vice-Governor of Bukidnon Jose Maria Zubiri.

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