An Igorot activist, labeled by the Philippine government as “terrorist”, is the first Filipino to receive the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights for defending human rights and promoting democracy from the May 18 Memorial Foundation.
The National Irrigation Administration rejected the call to suspend works on the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project made by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Instead, it will just limit construction activities and urged the immediate issuance of the Certification Precondition regardless of its violations.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance reiterated that issuing the Certificate of Precondition for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project after its proponent violated the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) guidelines will set a “dangerous and catastrophic precedent.”
On May 7, the Cordillera Regional Development Council held a joint committee meeting to tackle the issues arising from the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project. Two i-Kalingas were there, one is with the protesters who picketed the gathering and the other seated among those talking inside the office. Here are their thoughts on the P4.3 billion irrigation facility funded through a credit agreement with the Chinese government.
With the growing protests and issues surrounding the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP), a joint committee of the Regional Development Council Cordillera was forced to urge the proponent to halt the construction operations.
Apart from the onerous loan agreement, other controversies continue to surface in relation to the P4.3 billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project (CRPIP). For this project, the first and biggest soft loan package offered by China to the Philippines, the Duterte government has trampled the principles of free and prior informed consent (FPIC) and thus the rights of indigenous peoples.
The recent clashes between the PNP and the NPA in the Mountain Province again put the issue of the use of anti-personnel explosives in the limelight with the government accusing the rebels of violating International Humanitarian Law. But are all anti-personnel explosives prohibited under the Ottawa Convention? Are the NPA bound to adhere to formal and customary laws of war?
Most reports provided the basic information about the clashes, enough to inform the readers of what transpired. However, straight news that dwells only on the firefight and the casualties tends to create further division among the people. It leaves a data gap on the circumstances that caused the events and the reasons why the war in the countryside continue to rage.
Before the controversial Chico River Pump Irrigation Project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), there was the Banaoang Pump Irrigation Project (now Banaoang Pump Irrigation System or BPIS) in Ilocos Sur. A facility funded and built by the Chinese government that can provide added and solid ground why people should be concerned of the CRPIP loan agreement.
Igorot activist Joanna Patricia Kintanar Cariño, scion of Ibaloi chieftain Mateo Cariño is this year’s recipient of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights. She is the first Filipino conferred with the honor by May 18 Memorial Foundation, one of the largest human rights group in South Korea.
Despite the intensified threats, red-tagging and vilification against progressive groups and activists, youth groups in Baguio City are not deterred, and are finding ways to fight back.
The Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front (CPDF) accused the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of lying when they alleged the New People’s Army (NPA) used an unmanned improvised explosive device (IED) in their April 2 clash that killed a policeman and wounded nine others at Cabunagan, Poblacion, Tadian, Mountain Province.