THAT THE MOUNTAINS MAY CHANT THE TRUTH
(A Cordillera Statement Calling for a Stop to Extrajudicial Killings)
Once more, bullets silenced another small voice.
The ambush of the family of Dr. Constancio “Chandu” Claver, in the morning of July 31, 2006 near the Police Headquarters in Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga is repugnant. Chandu, the “people’s doctor” was seriously wounded, and Alice, his wife was killed, and their daughter is traumatized. Such atrocity has never been so real in the Cordillera until these recent months.
We, in the Cordillera have always cherished freedom and held it as essential to full humanity. This unflinching belief has helped us maintain our dignity all these years of government neglect, social marginalization, political isolation and economic deprivation. We fought for it.
We take pride in the fact that it shaped the ethos that binds the indigenous people of the Cordillera and links them with other indigenous peoples here and abroad. The ambush of the Clavers and of Marcus Bangit before them is alien to the culture of the people in the Cordillera.
We condemn the ambush of Dr. Claver’s family. The assault of unarmed civilians in public places is a manifestation of a rotten social order. It can only be motivated by a desire to perpetuate fear, subservience and maintain a state of repression.
The killings are deliberate and systematic, planned and executed only by those who have the means and capacity to undertake such atrocity with impunity and sophistication.
We believe that peace and justice is possible if the reasons for dissent and civil unrest are sincerely heard and addressed by those who hold power. At the core of democracy is a government that submits to the processes so painstakingly instituted to protect and ensure the welfare and interest of the majority of the citizens over and above all else.
We deplore the killing of people simply because of their political beliefs. This horrendous decimation of perceived “leftists” sends a chilling message that democracy is interpreted only by those who wield power. People in the Cordillera have demonstrated in the past that we cannot be cowed by any power to speak peace and surrender our freedom.
Wherefore, we now stand firmly united and demand that Government muster the political will and sincerity to put an immediate stop to these killings, find the perpetrators and mete justice.
We affix our signatures voluntarily and with fervent prayers and hope that political decency and moral uprightness will sweep clean the corridors of powers in this country. Let that small voice reverberate to the far reaches of this country and across the seas to swell the crescendo of the cry for justice and peace.
FORUM FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE IN THE CORDILLERA
5 August 2006
Signatories during the wake
(not alphabetized for now)
Shirley Anne Apaling
Charlie de la Cruz
Lucky Edzel Rafanan
Shirley Anne Apaling
Josephine C Taclobao
Shirley Ann Apaling
Gladys Faith Comaad
Signatories in Metro Manila
Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes
Almond del Rosario
Minne Anne Calub
Mary Chrismina Galera
Rex RB Reyes, Jr
Fr. Dave Bitos
Pastor FG Mercado
Msgr. Alfonso Talay
Sr. Marvic Destacamento
Tyrone Edward Beyer
Signatories through the Internet, updated as of 9 Oct. 2006
Jerry Abeya (Mt Province; New Jersey USA)
Flor Abul (Baguio City)
Mila D. Aguilar (Manila)
Bart Alatan (British Columbia, Canada)
Arthur Lapaan Allad-iw
Caroline Umaming Allad-iw
Elmer Apacway (Benguet)
Joseph Apacway (Australia)
Fred Asiong (Benguet)
Ray Baguilat Jr. (Ifugao)
Ben Baniaga (Mt Province; Quezon City)
Andrew Winston Q Bayating
Teogenes Bernardez Jr. (Mt Province)
Daisy Bobeck (Baguio City)
Mila Borje (Texas USA)
Melchora Chin (Mt Province; Australia)
G. Farnaw A. Claver
Cheryl L. Daytec
Elvie Olsim Della (Benguet)
Andrew Dompao (Texas USA)
Joan Duyan (Mt Province; Kalinga)
Brenda D. Fiag-oy (Baguio City)
Johnny Fialen (Mt Province)
Noel Godinez (Manila; Baguio City)
Dee Hunt (Brisbane, Australia)
Stevenson Kiat-ong (Mt Province)
Erwin Killip (Mt Province)
Ernest Killip (Mt Province)
Errub Killip (Mt Province)
Jet O. Kollin
Lerma C. Lapnawan (Kalinga)
Daisy Leones (Baguio City)
Lynn B. Macalingay (Mt Province)
Esther Marshall (Tabuk, Kalinga; New Jersey USA)
Suligam Grace Marshall (Tabuk, Kalinga; New Jersey USA)
Jodea Pearl S. Martin (Kalinga)
Lily Mendoza (Denver, Colorado USA)
Manuel F. Na-oy
Kim Ngabit Quitasol (Ifugao)
Jocelyn Noe (Mt Province)
Evelyn Padua (Ifugao; Benguet; Australia)
Sandre Padua (Australia)
Janet Palangchao (USA)
Beverly T. Pekas
Maricel Polon (Abra)
Giovanni Bete Reyes (UP Diliman) with comment
Lambert Sagalla (Mt Province)
Leona Sagalla (Mt Province)
Joel Saracho (Quezon City)
Rev. Cesar T. Taguba (Ibaloi; Netherlands)
Joan L. Tenda
Bing da Veiga
Ellen Velasco (Dagupan City)
Jun Verzola (Abra; Baguio City)
Note: The signature campaign is on-going. This list is being updated at least once a week. If you want to sign, or to modify the info included with your name, please use the comment dialogue box of this blog entry to enter your name, comment, and any other contact info you want to include. You can also sign by sending the same info thru email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Note 2: This petition is mirrored at http://cordillera.schtuff.com, and can also be accessed (with a different set of signatories) at http://sagada.net. We will later integrate the sets of signatories into one to remove duplicates.