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people’s mass movement for self-determination and liberation, the Cordillera people’s mass movement for national democracy, social justice, and genuine peace. In this struggle for the assertion of the full essence of human rights, we remember the men, women and children, who courageously raised, and continue to raise the banner of a society without oppression and exploitation, painstakingly realizing this dream daily in the face of State repression. These continue to be challenging times. This March, State fascism and terrorism, in a streak of extrajudicial killings left us in mourning and rage. On March 7, 2014, Fermin Ligiw, Eddie Ligiw and their aged father, Licuben Ligiw, were found buried in a shallow grave near their hut after they went missing on March 3 in Baay Licuan, Abra. The people point to the 41st IBPA headed by Lt. Col. Danilo Domingo under the 503rd Brigade Col. Paul Atal to be the perpetrators of the incident. They have been conducting military combat operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) since February 16, 2014 covering areas of the Lacub, Licuan Baay and Malibcong municpalities. The three and the other immediate Ligiw family members are members and leaders of BALITOK (Baay Licuan Takderan Umno a Karbengan), KASTAN (Kakailian Salakniban tay Amin a Nagtaudan) and CPA (Cordillera Peoples Alliance). Fermin was a leader of the youth organization, Anakbayan. On March 25, William Bugatti was on his way home to his family at Bolog, Kiangan, Ifugao when unidentified assassins treacherously shot three bullets piercing his heart. William had been receiving threats to his life and security from State security forces and their agents since the start of Oplan Bayanihan implementation. This heightened after a Target List of the 5th ID and the 86th IB in Tinoc was obtained in October 2012. Bugatti was listed as #21 in the list in a roster of 28 people tagged as brains, members and supporters of the NPA who are now also vulnerable to attack by State security forces and their agents. William is a Regional Council Member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-KARAPATAN, a Regional Council Member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance representing the Ifugao Peasant Movement and the Provincial Coordinator of Katribu Partylist. This year alone, there have been around 22 cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, with most of the victims being indigenous peoples. The statistics include the recent extrajudicial killings by the 21st IBPA under the 5th Infantry Division of three Malaweg peasants – couple Rey Regalado and Jaylene Lagua-Regalado last March 22 and Ronald Beran last March 26 in Zinundungan Valley, Cagayan. Political persecution in the region continues not just with these forms of violations. James Balao, CPA founding member continues to be missing for almost 6 years now. Kennedy Bangibang, National Democratic Front of the Philippines Peace Consultant for
Brigadier General Felix Brawner implement Operation Plan Bayanihan. They wage war against the people, especially those resisting development aggression and imperialist plunder, and those asserting human rights. Soldiers encamp in our villages occupying schools, barangay halls and homes, inflict harm on women and children and desecrate indigenous socio-political structures and practices. The militarization of communities has significantly affected the livelihood of the people. Access to food and resources have become more difficult as people could no longer go to their farms or small-scale mines, hunt or even trade with nearby municipalities freely because their security and lives are endangered. People fear of becoming targets of military operations or targets of reprisals of State security forces especially in the aftermath of their armed engagements with the NPA. Because of these, we call for justice, we call for accountability, we call for genuine peace as we assert our human rights. We demand the delivery of justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations. We demand that impartial, independent and competent investigations of cases be done. We strongly demand that perpetrators be brought to the bar of justice and that State accountability should be exacted in full. We demand for the pull-out of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from our villages, from our ancestral domain. The human rights violations, especially the extrajudicial killings and the impact of militarization, are clear reasons for such. We demand for the withdrawal of Oplan Bayanihan, the Philippine government’s counterinsurgency program, that victimizes innnocent and unarmed civilians. We call on the Philippine government to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and all the major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory to, including the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). We remind them, that enshrined in these declarations and instruments is the justness of the people’s right to resist and revolt against tyranny and oppression. We strongly reiterate the need and the call for the resumption of the peace negotiations between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The roots of the armed conflict need to be sincerely addressed and all measures be done to pave the way for genuine peace. Through our difficulties, we remember and live by the significant lessons of the Chico and Cellophil struggles written through the lives of our martyrs and heroes.!Repression is confronted with organized resistance, fear is met with courage and human dignity should be reclaimed even in the darkest and most trying times. We continue to work for the dream of a society where the full essence of human rights is realized. We are determined that we, the people, will persist. #