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January 9, 2008

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National ID System to Step Up Rights Violations

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) protests government's revived proposal to implement the National Identification (NID) system as it is being undertaken within the framework of Oplan Bantay Laya II and is part of the Arroyo regime's counter-insurgency program and attack on the people's open mass movement. The proposal was made by high officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and has been certified by Pres. GMA as an urgent measure.

The NID, if approved, shall serve as a legal instrument to further curtail and restrict peoples' rights to privacy, communication and mobility. The purpose of facilitation government transactions is only incidental. What do we expect from a government responsible for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances? These continue unabated and perpetrators escape with impunity.

It is a legal cover-up for the on-going surveillance and intelligence activities of the military and police against who they perceive as enemies of the state. In fact, the whole issue of the validity of a national ID system has split Senate opinion, as some officials deem it a measure that will step up civil and political rights.

While such a system requires a law enacted by Congress, and not simply an executive order, the CPA is against any move to create legislation that will facilitate the NID due to herein stated reasons.

The NID would be definitely used against organizations like the Cordillera Peoples Alliance that the Arroyo regime has persistently labeled as a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Thus, we enjoin the public to remain vigilant against all moves to further curtail our civil and political, and collective rights as indigenous peoples. #


Beverly L. Longid
Cordillera Peoples Alliance

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