MANILA, Philippines — A global movement of indigenous peoples condemned the Duterte government for including human rights activists and advocates in a list of alleged “terrorists” that forms part of a petition to designate the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army as terrorist organizations.
The Katribu ng Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas named the IP activists and advocates IPs tagged as CPP-NPA members in the petition filed by the Department of Justice as:
- Vicky Tauli-Corpuz – a Kankanaey and the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples
- Beverly Longid – a Bontok-Kankanaey activist from Cordillera, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation global coordinator and Katribu international solidarity officer
- Windel Bolinget – a Bontok-Kankanaey, Cordillera Peoples Alliance chair and Katribu national convener
- Joanna Cariño – an Ibaloi elder and activist, SANDUGO co-chairperson
- Joan Carling – a Kankanaey, former CPA chairperson and former Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact secretary-general
- Jose Molintas – an Ibaloi lawyer and public servant, former national vice-president of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Datu Isidro Indao – a Matigsalog-Manobo village chief, council member of the PASAKA Lumad Confederation in Southern Mindanao and an active member of the Parent-Teacher Community Association of the lumad school run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc.
- Datu Mampadayag – a Banwaon village chief and member of the TAGDUMAHAN lumad organization
- Datu Mandayhon – a Talaandig village chief and member of the PIGYAYONGAAN lumad organization
- Sergio Lumonday – a Manobo and the Tinananon Kulamanon Lumadnong Panaghiusa secretary general
- A dozen other indigenous leaders, activists and community organizers
Earlier, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, reacting to the inclusion of Tauli-Corpuz in the petition as well as President Rodrigo Duterte’s constant slurs against rights experts of the world body, suggested the chief executive “needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination.”
In his report to the 37th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Zeid also deplored Duterte’s instructions to police not to cooperate “when it comes to human rights, or whoever rapporteur it is” and the continued vilification of special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard by Philippine authorities.
Aside from this, Zeid urged “all States to examine the effectiveness and human rights impact of their current approaches to the so-called ‘War on Drugs’,” the aggressive anti-narcotics campaign of Duterte that is blamed for thousands of killings.
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation said the charges against them “are not only false and fabricated. They are baseless and malicious with intent to harass and intimidate those listed in the petition and the people’s mass movement to submission.”
Their inclusion among the more than 600 persons in the DOJ petition “is meant to cripple the people’s mass movement in the country and criminalize the legitimate struggles of the people by proscribing them as terrorist acts,” the IPMSDL added.
“We condemn the Duterte government for filing trumped-up charges against IP and human rights defenders while protecting big businesses and landlords who steal and plunder indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands and resources,” it said.
At the same time, the organization said the government was “gravely mistaken if it believes that intimidation and harassment will stop the people from fighting back and exercising their democratic rights.”
“While injustice prevails and human rights are violated with impunity, there will be more human rights defenders who will rise up against tyranny,” it said.