The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) strongly condemns the treacherous, barbaric and heinous murder of NDFP Peace Consultant Randy Felix Malayao, early morning of January 30 in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Malayao’s assassination is testament to the Duterte government’s callous disrespect to the principles of human rights, democracy, justice and peace.
Randy Malayao is a well known and respected advocate for indigenous peoples’ rights from Northern Luzon who began his activism as student journalist in the University of the Philippines Visayas. He has long been an IP advocate, supporting the struggles of IPs not only in cagayan region but also the cordillera and nationwide through Katribu. As a member of PUNGANAY – Indigenous Peoples Organization in Cagayan Valley, he has significantly contributed to the advancement of indigenous peoples’ demand for the respect of our right to ancestral lands and self-determination in the peace process of the NDFP and the GRP. He has been invited in several conferences tackling the peace process particularly the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms in the different provinces of Cordillera. On the celebration of the 34th Cordillera Day held in Baguio last April, Malayao is one of the main resource persons on the Legal Clinique on Human Rights Violations, which provided a venue for Cordillera community representatives to enhance their work on documenting human rights violations.
Like several IP leaders from the Cordillera, Malayao’s name was included in the petition of the Department of Justice to proscribe the CPP-NPA as terrorists. We condemn the said DOJ petition as a virtual “hit list” of more than 600 people, mostly activists and human rights advocates. The list has endangered and continue to endanger the lives of many human rights defenders and their families.
The Northern Luzon Command of the Philippine Army and the 5th ID should also be held accountable for the unwarranted vilification campaign against Malayao and other activists in the region. However, the systematic harassment and intimidation against Malayao and other peace consultants had failed to stop him from pursuing his commitment to serve the people, especially the peasants and indigenous peoples.
We mourn the loss of a great man and extend our sympathies to his family, the people of Cagayan and all the oppressed masses he has served. Like the other martyrs of the people’s struggle, we continue to draw inspiration from his examples of courage and determination to forward the struggle for a just and lasting peace. We call for an immediate and impartial investigation to punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime not only on Malayao, but also on the oppressed masses whom he has offered his life for.
They may have killed Randy Malayao, but the fire in the hearts of the struggling masses grows ever stronger than before.
Justice for Randy Malayao!
Stop the attacks against human rights activists!