By KATRIBU (PR)
BAGUIO CITY — Katribu Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist, in a press statement strongly condemns the recent killing of Cheryl Ananayo and relative Randy Nabayay in the hands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya.
Days before the celebration of the International Human Rights Day (10 Dec), these anti-mining advocates from the people’s organization Didipio Earthsavers’ Multipurpose Association (DESAMA), were shot dead as they were riding to Didipio last December 7.
The statement described Ananayo and Nabayay as fiercely opposed to the Didipio gold-copper project in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya by the large-scale mining company Oceana Gold Corporation. The company, even before the commencement of its actual operations last November 2012, already committed various and numerous cases of ecological destruction and violation of indigenous peoples’ rights.
“The granting of the Aquino government and its agencies of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) to mining companies like Oceana Gold gives these destructive foreigners not only justification in destroying the livelihood and lands of the communities, but also the taking of their lives with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Furthermore, the government turns a blind eye on cases like this where people are harmed, stripped of their lives, and killed,” stated Samuel Anongos, Katribu Indigenous People’s Partylist Cordillera Region spokesperson.
He added that the Aquino administration has done more actions to aid foreign investors than the FIlipino people. The pleas of the people to end these destructive projects on their lands remain ignored, inspite of PNOy’s pronouncements that the people are his bosses (kayo ang boss ko).Numerous cases of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations of indigenous peoples’ and communities were even committed at the start of his term.
From the onset of the PNoy Administration, national oppression has continued to be the chains binding the indigenous peoples from self-determination. National oppression is legitimized under the different neo-liberal policies implemented in the country, which are anti-indigenous peoples and anti-indigenous people’s rights, he said.
The statement hits, “The sexual abuse on indigenous women and children, violation of the collective land rights and other numerous cases of human rights violations on indigenous peoples indicate the kind of discriminatory treatment under the Aquino Administration.”
“The cases of human rights violations in Didipio that our indigenous brothers and sisters experience are a concrete example of national oppression.”
Katribu also calls, “We must be vigilant in cases such as this where the people and activists are directly assaulted by the government and military just to push through their goals of attracting foreigners into our country. The government must not forget whom it must serve—otherwise it has only further proven ineffective in addressing and advancing the needs and rights of its people.” # nordis.net