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June 6, 2008

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Justice for Rafael Markus Bangit!

Ay Uggayam,
Programa ken proyekto
Linlinteg a manglimlimo, Nga inmay inyulog ti gobyerno
Natured kay a nangsango, nangsupyat, nangidaulo
Nga isu ti makagapu nga inda ka intudo
Kuna da a dakay ket terorismo

Ay Uggayam,
Gapu iti engkay panagserbi
Nangilaban interes ti umili, Dagitoy ket sumupadi
Linlinteg ipagpagnan AFP
Nga isu ti inbaga da ket dakay ket
Rebelde... ay uggayam

Two years ago on June 8, 2006, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance lost one of its most dedicated leaders to the Arroyo government's state policy of political killings or the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL). Rafael Markus "Makoy" Bangit was felled by three bullets by suspected state elements in the presence of his eldest son in Echague, Isabela, while they were en route to Baguio. Makoy was a member of the CPA Regional Council and headed its Elders Desk. As a tribal elder and leader of the Malbong in Kalinga, Makoy was the secretary general of the Binodngan Peoples Organization at the time of his death.

The CPA, Makoy's family, clan and tribe still cry out for justice after two long years. The police investigation has not provided leads and there appears to be no interest for them to look further into the case. The CPA also requested the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to look into the matter, yet their investigation has provided no substantial development. The absence of justice makes his case and that of other victims of extra-judicial killings a further violation of their rights.

Makoy's case was also forwarded to international bodies such as Amnesty International and submitted to UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston during his visit to the Cordillera last year; to the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Ms. Hina Jilani, and to the office of the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples.

We will continue to exhaust all means provided by law to seek justice for Makoy. We still hold accountable Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her policy of political killings, which is still perpetrated, and is now manifested by massive militarization in indigenous communities in the Cordillera country sides.

We remember Makoy not only on his second year anniversary, but everyday, as we live out the legacy of his unconditional commitment in serving the Cordillera indigenous peoples and upholding and asserting their rights whenever, wherever.

Ay Uggayam… Digayamen
Nasibugan iti daram
Ling-et ken adu a lulluam
Nalawa a kabanbantayan ubbog sumaruno
A kapututan
Mangituloy iti dangadang mangbirok iti
Pudno a dalan lawag enggana
Masakbayan... ay Uggayam

(Verses from Makoy's Uggayam during the Cordillera Day 2006 Celebration in his home province of Kalinga, two months before his assassination)


Chairperson, CPA

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