On the International Day of Action for Rivers CPDF condemns NCIP go-signal for Gened 2
This important day for national minorities, the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front calls on the people of Apayao to strengthen its ranks and expect an uphill battle in the struggle to preserve the Apayao-Abulug River. It can count on nobody else but themselves for even the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples has disregarded its own mandate by allowing the gross violation of the Isneg’s right to self-determination.
During the last week of February, the Pan-Pacific Renewable Power Philippines Corporation launched a media offensive by crowing about its success regarding the second Gened project. A questionable memorandum of agreement with ‘authorized tribal leaders’ now allows them to build a 250-megawatt hydropower plant. This, on the get-go, is already problematic because the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera decides as a community through consensus. Historically, the most respected Igorot leaders emerge when they amplify the demands of the tribe. Ama Macliing Dulag, Inna Petra Macliing are but a few examples of those noble leaders.
It is thus suspicious that the news items did not carry anything about the Isneg people’s opposition to the project. There were vague promises of royalty benefits, energy provisions, electrification fund, financial assistance and compensation from the San Miguel-controlled company. Reading more like a promotional piece for the company and its destructive project, mainstream news even stipulated that the affected families must show proof of belonging to the Isneg tribe before they can qualify for remuneration.
To further prove that PPRPPC has wholly appropriated the Isneg’s ancestral territory, the MOA specifies that the tribes supposedly “consent to the proposed Gened 2 project and all its phases to be undertaken by the proponent in their ancestral domain, including the utilization and development of natural resources such as water, land, OR ANY PORTION of the domain.” It does not matter that the PPRPPC adjusted their proposal from a 335-megawatt project to 250 megawatts if the MOA gives them blanket permission anyway.
The NCIP only proved that it cannot be relied upon to advocate for indigenous rights. The national minority can only depend on their own strength and the various arenas of struggle available to them. The NCIP’s betrayal of the people’s trust is another reaffirmation that an armed revolution is urgent and critical to the realization of indigenous rights. ###
Kaigorotan, lumaban! Resist destructive capitalist projects!
Expose and oppose the ongoing and proposed hydropower plants in Apayao!
Advance the people’s armed revolution!