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RPM-M/RPA Statement on the IP Killings in Maguindanao, Mindanao

27 February 2015

In their quest for the realization of the democratic rights over their ancestral domains, Indigenous Peoples inside the core area of the proposed Bangsamoro territory are faced with more than many tough challenges. As of January 2015, nine (9) lives of IP leaders and members have been assassinated within their ancestral territory.

The series of killings came after the tribes’ and its leaders in Maguindanao, Mindanao actively opposed the coming in of mining corporations and development aggression projects in their domains. Their active assertion for their rights over their ancestral domains to be explicitly mentioned in the debated Bangsamoro Basic Law – the law to govern mainly the proposed Bangsamoro territory as a result of the peace agreement signed by the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has added to the intensification of the harassments and threats. The IPs have learned lessons from the Government and Moro National Liberation Front agreement that included their ancestral domains to contracts with logging concessions without them being consulted and the un-implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in the autonomous region in seventeen years until today.

It is obvious that those who got killed were key personalities in their communities and were actively involved in the assertions to protect their ancestral domains and claims for their democratic rights. More tribal leaders have been receiving threats and continuous harassments.

These concerns have been reported to government agencies from the Municipal to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the National level and even to the Government peace panel but have not been acted upon and seem to fall on deaf ears

We would like to remind all nations that prior to the arrival of religious monotheism like Islam and Catholicism in this part of the world (Philippines/Mindanao) there were already original inhabitants who have here. Therefore, they must be respected and considered in every undertaking by the government and or revolutionary organizations.

As we commemorate the 29th year of the peoples’ uprising which had been decisive in toppling down the Marcos dictatorial regime. This historic event is called “EDSA 1 Peoples Power” today, we want to remind everyone that IPs and their communities have substantially contributed in the struggle against the dictatorship and shall rightly benefit from the gains and victories of that event.

We call on all progressive forces in the Philippines and the world to be in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao and around the world and integrate their struggles in the bigger and broader struggles in order to defend the IPs and the toiling masses against all forms of oppression an exploitation. The Killings of Indigenous Peoples must be stopped and their struggle for their inherent right to self determination must be supported

We would like to reiterate that as a Revolutionary Party, Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Mindanao (RPM-M) and Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA) support the Right to Self Determination struggle of the Moro people – currently led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and at the same time we extend the same support to the Indigenous Peoples’ for the realization of the Right to Self-Determination within or outside the bigger Bangsamoro autonomy.

Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Mindanao (RPM-M)

Revolutionary Peoples’ Army (RPA)

February 25, 2015

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