The Cordillera Peoples Alliance commends the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of the Municipality of Sagada, Mountain Province for passing Resolution No. 27 – 2018 “requesting the Department of Justice/Philippine government to drop in its terrorist tag the following persons, namely: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Joan Carling, Beverly L. Longid, Atty. Jose Molintas, Windel Bolinget, Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding and Joanna Carino” on April 16, 2018.
The Sagada SB Resolution is another proof of the government’s baseless and malicious terrorist proscription list, which is only aimed at silencing political dissent and puts at risk the lives of indigenous human rights activists. The Sagada SB resolution mentions “the members of body vouch… that they being mere promoters of social justice and defenders of the poor especially the indigenous group of people.” Fighting for social justice and human rights, for the protection of our ancestral lands, and for the welfare of indigenous peoples is not terrorism. Activism is not terrorism.
We reiterate our call for the government to immediately dismiss the DOJ proscription list, comply with its human rights obligations, and ensure the safety and security of human rights defenders. The government must immediately put an end to the culture of impunity that reigns in the country, widespread extrajudicial killings, and political repression. Yesterday, Fr. Mark Ventura was brutally killed in front of his parishioners in Cagayan. CPA joins the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other groups in condemning the extrajudicial killing of Fr. Ventura who was known for his advocacy against mining and support to indigenous peoples.
We encourage other local government units in the different provinces to stand up against human rights violations, and urge the government to drop the terrorist tag on indigenous human rights defenders as did the Sagada SB and the Baguio City Council. The March 20 Baguio City Council Resolution (No. 92) urging the government to drop the “terrorist” tag against CPA leaders was affirmed by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan on April 20
We call on freedom and peace loving individuals and groups to condemn acts of State terrorism and join us in resisting tyranny. It is our duty as citizens of the country to safeguard our rights, protect our fellow citizens from human rights abuses, and defend our sovereignty and patrimony.***
For reference: Bestang Dekdeken