The indigenous peoples under the KATRIBU Partylist meet the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with utmost concern and apprehension.
We recognize the determined effort of the MILF to mainstream the Bangsamoro problem and put up forward solutions they deem are in the best interest of the Bangsamoro people.
But the peace accord still has be implemented, and the real intent to bring about peace has yet to be realized by the Bangsamoro people. For the Bangsamoro people, peace is not only the absence of war and conflict. Peace is when the Bangsamoro people have attained justice from the age-long institutionalized discrimination and national oppression. Peace is when the Bangsamoro people have attained recognition of their right to their ancestral domain and self determination. Peace is when the Bangsamoro people have truly benefited from the implementation of a comprehensive social and economic reform that addresses the root cause of the Bangsamoro problem..
Baguio City- On 25 February 2014, I received a sketchy text message from colleagues, friends and relatives in Ifugao informing me that they saw posters in Banaue and Lagawe, Ifugao bearing my name, photograph and that of others, and labelled as NPA (New People’s Army). My first reaction was to ask – what picture? Maayos ba ang picture ko? What posters? What does it say? Who posted it? The following day, our office received a copy of the said poster from our partner IRDC (Ifugao Resource and Development Center). colored, long-bond paper size, and indeed bearing my photograph, name and below it KATRIBU together with the names and photographs of Jude Baggo of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), Emerson Soriano of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance (CPA), Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna Partylist, Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Partylist and Riza Hontiveros. It was captioned “Rupa ken Nagan dagiti NPA nga Agsusuweldo” (Faces and names of NPA receiving salaries).
Maynila- Naglunsad ng isang kilos protesta ang mga katutubo sa pamumuno ng Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) kasama ang Kabataan para sa Tribu Pilipino sa harap ng Batasang Pambansa uang kundinahin ang maniobra ng mga kaalyado ni BS Aquino na baguhin ang konstitusyon ng bansa.
Ayon kay Danilo Elosendo, tagapagsalita ng KATRIBU, “Ang Pagbabago ng konstitusyon o Charter Change (Cha-Cha) ay maghuhudyat ng lalong higit na pagkawala ng lupaing ninuno ng mga katutubo. Higit nitong pabibilisin ang pagpasok ng mga dayuhang mamumuhunan katulad ng mga dambuhalng minahan sa lupang ninuno namin”
KATRIBU Partylist strongly condemns the ruthless killing of Datu Rolando Ambongan, 39 years old, on January 31, 2014 at around 7:20 in the evening near their house at P-2, Brgy. Guinabasan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Also wounded in this incident is his nephew, Janmar Ambongan Sulhayan, from the strafing of their house. Datu Ambongan is an active member of the KATRIBU Partylist – Buenavista Chapter.
Witnesses identified Eddie Ampiawan a.k.a Komander Bawang, leader of the armed para-military group Alimaong or Bagani Force as the perpetrator of the killing of Datu Ambongan. Even if they were wearing bonnet, along with William and Salomeo who were members of the CAFGU under the 29th IBPA, they were clearly identified because of the bright light and because he was well known and is a relative of much of the residents in the area.
There are three things we can learn from the disaster brought about by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
One, natural calamities intensifies the ill effects on our people already faced with man-made disaster brought about by poverty; the inutility of government to provide basic social services; and its promotion of policies/programs that result in environmental degradation. After a natural disaster strikes our country, it is more a common sight to see the poor people - who in the first place do not have adequate livelihood before a typhoon or an earthquake strikes - to line up for relief goods to survive on a daily basis. In the case of typhoon Yolanda, the poor people have become desperate enough to “loot” food and water from business establishments just to survive because of the lack of relief goods.
The indigenous peoples (IP) under the progressive KATRIBU Partylist joins the immediate family, relatives, friends and comrades of Dagil Capion in remembering the life and struggle of the Juvy Capion. KATRIBU likewise joins them in seeking justice for the Juvy Capion and her two children.
A year passed since the brutal massacre of Juvy Capion and her two children. Yet justice has not been served. The absence of justice adds more pain and suffering to their family and, to us indigenous peoples. The saying goes “justice delayed is justice denied”. Each day that justice is not served is a day to remind us that the Aquino administration is not sincere and becomes an accomplice to deny justice for Juvy and her two children. The Aquino administration is lightning fast in defending the PDAF and DAP including his associates implicated in this issue but is slothful to pursue justice for Capion family and the more than 30 IP victims of extra-judicial killings under the current regime.
He was an indigenous leader who lived to serve his fellow Higaonon in the defense of their ancestral land.
He was the chairperson of Pangalasag, a member organization of the regional alliance Kalumbay and an organization of Higaonon indigenous people in Opol, Misamis Oriental.
His organization has a firm stand against the oil palm plantation of A. Brown Company, Inc. which operates in barangays Tingalan and Bagocboc in Opol.
He and his organization took serious steps towards the resurgence of their customary laws especially in decision-making and granting of consent which decades of dispossession of their ancestral lands eroded.
He was active in researches, fact-finding missions, dialogues with government officials, petitions and protest actions against the oil palm plantation of A. Brown in their ancestral land.