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120 tribal leaders from Mindanao to sue CPP-NPA for violating indigenous people’s rights

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

 

Lipatuan Joel Unad, chairman of the Mindanao Indigenous People Conference for Peace and Development

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 120 tribal chieftains from Mindanao traveled to Manila to file charges against the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) for multiple violations of the indigenous people’s rights and other lawless acts.

Representatives from 18 major ethnic tribes in Mindanao led by Lipatuan Joel Unad, the Chairman of the Mindanao Indigenous People Conference for Peace and Development condemns the killing of 1,000 tribal leaders since the 1980s for defying orders from the communist group.

The group accused the Reds of abusing, molesting and raping their youth. The rebels were also educating their children in false ideals and curriculum not accredited by the Department of Education (DepEd).

Based on records, 70% of NPA members were recruited from the Lumads.

“Ipa-member ka sa CPP-NPA turuan ka kung paano kumanta ng national anthem ng mga CPP-NPA. Tinuturuan ka paano pag-dismantle ng baril. Iyon ba ang totoong pagtulong sa mga katutubo?” Unad lamented.

“Ang UP iyon pala ang institution for the indigenous people para sa lahat sana. Pero ngayon ang UP kampuhan ng mga kabataan na ginagamit ng CPP-NPA. Tinuturuan ka pala ng batas ng komunista,” he added.

Among the charges the group plans to file include multiple atrocities and extreme violence against the tribes such as burying alive, torture, death by strangling and firing squad.

The group consulted authorities from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples regarding the charges which they plan to file next week.

Unad insisted that the alleged mass protests against the government were the works of the leftists and not their group. He also countered reports on social media accusing them as fake tribal leaders.

“Sinasabi po ng social media na ang mga taong ito peke pero ito ang proseso natin kung maging peke ang mga tribal leaders na nandito hindi nakasulat sa kabundukan at saka katubigan at saka sa history yung mga pangalan nila,” he said.

Unad calls on the NPA to stop occupying their territory as they want to protect and preserve their culture and traditions.

They call on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to help them protect their ancestral domain defense system so that economic development will also come their way such as proper education. —  Marje Pelayo (with reports from Cathy Maglalang)

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AFP submits recommendation to Pres. Duterte in line with the implementation of martial law in Mindanao

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The existing martial law in Mindanao is set to end on the 31st of December.

With this, various groups opposing the military rule call on the government to no longer extend the proclamation.

They said martial law violates human rights particularly in the communities of Moros and Lumads.

The groups claim this is the reason why they want the military rule to end.

President Rodrigo Duterte initially said he will base his decision on the matter on the recommendations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, they based their recommendation on the current security situation of the country.

“Our recommendation is based on assessment not only covering the NPA’s, the assessment covers all threats. But of course you yourself, members of the media, have extensively reported about these atrocities by the NPA. So your coverage will speak for itself. We really have seen that there is an intensified action on the part of the NPA,” said Guerrero.

The AFP Chief of Staff, however, refused to reveal the contents of their recommendation, saying it will be the President himself who will decide on whether to extend the military rule or not.

However, when Guerrero was asked about the possibility of a nationwide martial law declaration, he has this to say…

“It’s always a possibility, everything is possible,” Guerrero added. – Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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Farmers, Lumads stage protest action in Davao City

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_072417_DAVAO CITY RALLY

Hundreds of farmers and Lumads or natives in Mindanao held a protest action at the Freedom Park in Davao City in hopes that their appeals will reach President Rodrigo Duterte.

First in their appeals is for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao and for the stoppage of the militarization in their communities.

The group also presented a replica of caskets with the inscription crying for justice for victims of political killings in southern Mindanao.

Around 300 members of the Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP) stormed the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Sagkahan, Tacloban City.

The group complained of the alleged substandard quality of the housing project constructed by the NHA.

The NHA however said it followed the housing standard lay-out set by the government, and that changes only happen after the project is turned over to the developers and contractors.

Militant groups in Cebu held a people SONA during the second State of the Nation Address by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The participating groups included workers-Alsa Kontraktwal, BPO workers, Piston, Panaghugpong Kadamay, Gabriela, Anakbayan and others.

In the middle of the people’s SONA, the leaders of each group lay down on the pavement holding their placards.

Nevertheless, they still believe that there is still a chance that the president will fulfil what he promised during the election, which are now included in their appeal.

Several militant groups also walked the stretch of session road in Baguio City to show their disdain against the Duterte administration.

The group comprised of Cordillera People’s Alliance, transport groups, workers groups, women’s groups, youth groups, Metro Baguio Tribal elders/ leaders assembly, Anak Bayan, and Kabataan Partylist

They held placards stating their protests against martial law; PUJ phase out; resumption of peace talks; issues on education and labor concerns among others.

The group also staged a sketch depicting President Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other officials with their necks shackled and the chains being held by what symbolizes America. – Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

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Victims of violent Manila dispersal to file complaint vs. policemen

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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Pia Malayao was emotional while  recounting her experience during the Philippine National Police’s (PNP)  dispersal of Wednesday’s  anti-US rally in Manila.

She is suffering from a broken leg injury after a  police mobile ran over her.

“Sa pangatlong pag-atras niya, doon na tinamaan ang paa ko. Nagulungan na po ng gulong,” Malayao narrated.

(As he was backing up [the van] for the third time, he ran over my feet. )

A 14-year-old Lumad was also hit in the leg by the police.

Aside from them, there are 16 others who were wounded in the incident.

According to Malayao, they just wanted to express their opposition against American soldiers staying in the country.

“Nakaranas kami ng disruption sa aming kabuhayan sa tuwing nandiyan ang Balikatan, US exercises ng mga tropa ng Kano,” Malayao said emotionally.

(Our livelihood is disrupted every time there is a Balikatan exercise by the American troops at our place.)

Because of what happened,the group is planning to file a complaint to the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman against the policemen who attacked them.

“At the very least Col. Pedroso, Franklin Kho and other policemen are in violation of B.P. 880 and Revised Penal Code, attempted murder,” Neri Colmenares said.

READ: Police officers dismissed over violent dispersal of anti-US rally

The CHR will also conduct their own investigation of the incident.

“We have to know whether the use of force was necessary and was to the extent required, and if it was proportionate to the provocation given to the policemen on the ground,” CHR spokesperson Jackie de Guia said.

In the Lower House, Bayan Muna party list filed a resolution seeking for an investigation of the dispersal.

“In our views, they should face administrative and criminal charges at the maximum because of what happened,” said Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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