In commemoration of April 9 Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) joins the whole Filipino nation in defending our national sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea, opposing debt traps that threaten our national patrimony such as through the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project loan agreement, and exposing Duterte’s callous subservience to Chinese powers.
Today’s mobilization in Baguio City and various cities in the country is a statement of the Filipino people’s strong condemnation of the Duterte regime’s shameless kowtowing to China’s hegemonic quest over the Philippines, its incursion of the West Philippine sea, and its interests on the ancestral lands and resources of indigenous peoples.
The Chico River Pump Irrigation Project which was supposed to benefit our farmers is clearly a debt-trap that will endanger our country’s patrimonial assets. The onerous agreement that was signed by the governments of the Philippines and China last year violates the Constitution by giving full control of vital infrastructure projects to foreign powers while creating insurmountable debts that will be paid for by poor Filipinos decades.
Further, the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project violated the indigenous peoples’ right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which was not completed before the loan agreement was signed and the project construction commenced. CPA maintains that the project is not feasible in the long run under the current development plan in Kalinga province, whereby a series of proposed dam projects upstream of the Chico river, mining applications and a proposed geothermal project will render the project useless.
Today, we reiterate our demand for the Duterte regime to:
As we commemorate the “Araw ng Kagitingan/Day of Valor”, we amplify our voices and demand “ATINangPINAS” and “ChinaLayas”. We shall carry on the legacy of our brave ancestors and revolutionary heroes who offered their lives to fight the invaders and protect our nation.