PRESS RELEASE: CPA Commemorates World IP Day, highlights intensified attacks against Igorot Activists
August 9, 2023
Today, August 9, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) with Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), Innabuyog, Progressive Igorots for Social Action (PIGSA), and Youth Act Now Against Tyranny- Baguio-Benguet (YANAT-BB) conducted a forum on Indigenous Peoples rights and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020 under the theme "Chant Our Struggles." This is in line with the celebration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (IDWIP).
Former Ateneo School of Government Dean Atty. Tony La Viña and former Bayan Muna representative Atty. Carlos Zarate headlined the event. Both esteemed lawyers highlighted the critiques on the ATA while also discussing salient actions undertaken to oppose the law. The La Viña-Zarate tandem is also helping with the case of the 4 CPA leaders designated as terrorists through Resolution 41 of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC). According to them, the remedy as per the law is to write a verified letter to the ATC requesting for delisting, but there is no certain period set for the ATC to respond. Last month, verified letters of the four CPA leaders were filed to the ATC while a petition to determine the basis of the freeze order on CPA's bank accounts were submitted to the Court of Appeals. Succeeding legal actions will be identified upon ATC's response.
CPA Pioneer and Martial Law survivor Joanna Cariño closed the event with a challenge to the audience. "Oppression breeds resistance. The human spirit can only take so much oppression before fighting back. Right now, the situation is difficult but we must be ready to sacrifice, just like what many of our Cordillera heroes and martyrs did during the Marcos dictatorship. This is the reality of our struggle," Cariño said.
An estimated number of 150 participants from the civil society organizations, youth, church, and women sectors attended the event.