Youthspeak: Saan a terorista!


“Ipeyas nan gawis”, they always tell us. In the Igorot culture, it means sharing all the good things – values, virtues, practices, and rituals. At the very core, it is our traditional ways of collective living and collective consciousness that teach us to always care for the common good – at any cost that it may require.

We are the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera, the Igorot, and resistance is our history.

The Duterte administration is trembling in fear and insecurity. As it resorts to an all-time-worst fascist and anti-people rule, it aims for the heads of its opposition and dissenters through harassment and assassination. Recent of which is the listing of over 600 men and women from all over the islands as “terrorists” in the Department of Justice (DOJ) petition to declare CPP-NPA as terrorist groups. The list included eight great men and women of the Cordillera, indigenous activists and human rights defenders, bearers of our long history of resilience, inspiration to generations of youth.

Auntie Joanna (Joanna Cariño) is a pillar in the Cordillera mass movement. A soft-spoken mother figure to all of us yet firm and steadfast in her stance against tyranny and imperialist plunder, having experienced the horrors of state-perpetrated violence during Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law. Auntie Jeannette (Jeannette Cawiding) is a teacher, not just by profession, but an educator that has crossed borders to reach the most marginalized communities in the region. Aunties Vicky (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz), Joan (Joan Carling), and Bev (Beverly Longid) are brave women, Cordillera struggle veterans, that have made us feel honored as they narrate stories and bring the plight of indigenous peoples in the Philippines to different international platforms.

Our very own community leader, Uncle Windel (Windel Bolinget) is an icon of strength and determination, never hesitating to speak up against injustices and oppression. Atty. Joemol (Jose Molintas) is a known human rights lawyer in the region who took on and won over countless cases in the defense of the less privileged for free. And we will never miss out, Manong Sherwin (Sherwin de Vera), an Igorot-by-heart who has selflessly served different communities in the Cordillera and Ilocos for years.

IF, defending our homeland and the toiling Filipino masses is terrorism for our government, hear the mountains’ uproar in defiance! If there is anyone who spreads terror in the land, the indigenous peoples in the countryside can attest to the violations committed by the military in protection of big, destructive, and foreign mining and energy companies in collusion with the government. If there is anyone who spreads terror in the lands, it is the Duterte administration that shamelessly perpetuates the torture and killings of farmers, indigenous peoples, activists, and human rights defenders, and carries out laws and policies that frustrate the Filipino people to worsened work settings, hunger and poverty, and miserable living conditions.

We, the youth of Cordillera, stand in solidarity with our mothers and fathers, aunties and uncles, advisers and elders who are now under attack, and whose security and safety are being put in danger. We resist this systemic tyrannical rule of the Duterte regime, in the same way that Ama Macliing Dulag, Petra Macliing, Ama Daniel Ngayaan, and all the unsung heroes of our land fought against tirelessly.

Betad!”, “Fetad!”, “Mebtad!” will echo across time and generations until imperialist plunder, landgrabbing, institutionalized discrimination, killings and genocide, and bastardization of culture cease.

Agbiag iti nainsigudan nga umili iti Kordilyera!
Agbiag iti lumablaban nga umili!
Lappedan iti naranggas ken pasista nga atake iti rehimen US-Duterte! #


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