IP group condemns the attack on Datu Manda

THE KATRIBU Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist condemned the murder attempt Tuesday morning against Timuay Loceno Manda and the killing of his eldest son Jordan. Timuay Manda was on his way to send his 11-year old son to school when unidentified assailants fired upon them.

KATRIBU believed that mining and logging corporations are behind this attempt and killing. Who else would benefit from his death, if ever?

Timuay Manda is a leader among the Subanens not only in his hometown Bayog but also in the Central Zamboanga Peninsula. He also actively participates in national activities to strengthen solidarity among indigenous peoples in the country for the common call of defense of ancestral lands and for self-determination.

He actively figured together with Catholic Bishops and concerned groups in the filing of a Writ of Kalikasan to protect the Pinukis Forest Range, one of the remaining forest frontiers in the Peninsula that is covered by various mining applications.

In Bayog, he has been in the forefront of protecting their ancestral domain and asserting their right of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) against commercial logging and mining. At present, the ancestral domain of the Subanen’s in Bayog has eight (8) mining permit applications; three (3) approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA); one (1) approved Exploration Permit and numerous illegal small-scale mining operations.

In his active involvement, he has been receiving threats on his life in the last three years. We hope that the government especially the Philippine National Police would do its best and bring the perpetrators to immediately to justice. We hope that the attempt on the life of Timuay Manda and the death of his son Jordan would not be an added name to victims doubly wronged by impunity.

This incident against Timuay Manda is not an isolated incident. In the past months, we have seen an escalation of violation on indigenous peoples’ human rights. These attacks as indigenous peoples heighten their defense of ancestral lands against corporate incursions of mining, logging and commercial plantations, and accompanying militarization of indigenous communities.

Yesterday, in Bukidnon, in broad daylight in front of the provincial capitol, eight masked men, in four XRM motorcycles armed with taser-stun guns harassed the peaceful assembly of the Tigwahanon tribe encamped thereat after they were forced to evacuate Sitio Kirangol, Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon for fear of their lives. Although masked to hide their identities, we strongly believe that the perpetrators are associated with Aldy ‘Butchoy’ Salusad of the New Indigenous Peoples’ Army Reform (NIPAR) – a paramilitary group and his father, Nonong Salusad, a CAFGU member who brought terror to the Tigwahanons.

‘Butchoy’ killed village captain Jimmy Liguyon on 05 March 2012 when he refused consent and recognition to the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) of the Salusads. The Salusads as CADT holders allowed the entry of mining and commercial plantation into the Tigwahanon indigenous territory encompassing 52,000 has.

In the last week of August, military elements filed trumped-up charges of murder and frustrated murder against the second nominee of KATRIBU, Genasque Enriquez. Like Timuay Manda, Jimmy Liguyon and other Lumad leader in Mindanao, Enriquez has actively opposed mining, logging, commercial plantations and militarization in the CARAGA region.

We call on indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, advocates of indigenous peoples rights and of peace to condemn the incident against Timuay Manda and other indigenous leaders.

We also call on fellow indigenous peoples to persevere amidst all these adversities. Let us broaden our ranks and strengthen our unity to defend our individual and collective rights to land, life and self-determination.

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