Destructive projects continue despite minorities’ opposition NTF-ELCAC uses willing NCIP as attack dog vs IPs
There is such a thing as Benguet bravery and the indigenous peoples of Mankayan are currently its flag bearers. Despite the lack of assistance from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the Kankanaeys of Benguet are proving themselves worthy sons and daughters of Pascual Pocding, Daniel Ngayaan, Macliing Dulag, Petra Macliing and many others. The barricade they have set up and maintained serves not just as physical resistance to the illegal activities of Crescent Mining Development Corporation. It is also symbolic of the national minorities’ enduring determination to assert their inalienable right to self-determination. The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front fully supports the fight of Barangay Bulalacao against the mining operations of said company.
On the other hand, the NCIP once again tells the world which master it actually serves. Not too long ago, it allowed the construction of hydropower projects in the Apayao-Abulug River despite the Isnags’ opposition to the project. Gened 1 and 2 was railroaded due to NCIP’s complicity despite the similar issue of non-consent from the affected tribes. Now, more destruction awaits the tribes of the Cordillera because of this commission’s collusion with big businesses. It enables capitalists to milk massive profits at the expense of the Cordillera people’s lives and livelihoods. This is a story that the minorities have seen and lived far too many times.
Meanwhile, the NCIP sits as a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and echoes the task force’ anti-IP line. During the NTF-ELCAC’s first press conference under the Marcos II regime, Commissioner Allen Capuyan was among the panelists hawking counterrevolutionary propaganda. Again, it becomes maddeningly clear that its loyalty does not lie with the IPs whose rights and welfare it was mandated to uphold. Capuyan crowed the NTF-ELCAC line against peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and using amnesty programs to ‘restore’ the political, civil and human rights of those who fight the government. This is fascism at its best. Meanwhile, the agency he leads is deaf and mute to the assertions of different Cordillera tribes regarding the protection and cultivation of their ancestral territories.
This outright dismissal of IP rights to favor capitalist greed, as well as the criminal neglect of the welfare of national minorities, is more than enough reason for the Cordillera people to advance the national democratic revolution. By uniting with the rest of the impoverished and oppressed masses, the minorities become part of the majority. By advancing under one national democratic movement, marginalized forces of tillers, workers and intellectuals can then build strength against a government that impoverish and oppress them. Fascists in the reactionary government are well aware of this. Thus, they squawk about preferring localized peace talks in a divide-and-conquer campaign while displaying the illusion of seeking peace.
The CPDF calls on all tribes and clans of the Cordillera to expose these dastardly manipulations of the NTF-ELCAC, with the connivance of no less than the NCIP. For the Cordillera people, peace based on justice can only be achieved through self-determination along with the realization of the democratic rights of all marginalized classes. The same warrior race that gave sweat and blood for the defense of their ancestral lands are still ever prepared to make the same sacrifice for the triumph of the revolution. ###
Kaigorotan, lumaban! Strengthen every democratic struggle through armed struggle!
Hold the NCIP accountable for its negligence of IP rights!
Advance the democratic people’s war! Join the New People’s Army!