April  8,  2017  


The   people   of   Malibcong,   Abra   call   for   peace   and   expressed   their   support   for   the   peace   talks  
highlighting   their   demand   for   State   security   forces   to   uphold   and   fully   adhere   to   all   State  
obligations  in  their  conduct  of  war.    The  Kakailian  Salakniban  tay  Amin  a  Nagtaudan  (KASTAN)  
–   the   Abra   provincial   chapter   of   the   Cordillera   Peoples   Alliance   (CPA),   Abra   Human   Rights  
Movement  (AHRM),  Cordillera  Human  Rights  Alliance  (CHRA),  Cordillera  Elders  Alliance  (CEA),  
Karapatan   National   Alliance   for   Human   Rights,   Kabataan   Partylist   (KPL),   Regional   Ecumenical  
Council   in   the   Cordillera   (RECCORD),   and   Innabuyog-­‐Cordillera   strongly   support   the   people’s  
calls  and  further  demand  for  accountability  of  violators  to  be  exacted.      

Civilians  have  become  targets  in  the  recent  intense  military  combat  operations  of  the   notorious  
24th  Infantry  Battalion  of  the  Philippine  Army  (IBPA)  under  the  7th  Infantry  Division  (ID)  led  by  
Lt.   Col.   Tomas   Dominic   Baluga,   known   as   the   “Palparan   Battalion”1.     The   Armed   Forces   of   the  
Philippines  (AFP)  declared  the  municipality  as  a  “hostile  area”  to  justify  military  presence  and  
actions.     They   also   claim   that   “other   groups   and   people”   are   required   to   get   AFP   permission  
before  entering  and  holding  activities  in  communities.        

The  AFP  committed  the  following  human  rights  and  international  humanitarian  law  violations  
as  validated  by  a  Peace  Mission  held  in  Malibcong,  Abra  this  April  3-­‐6,  2017:  

• Curtailment  of  the  right  to  mobility  –    people  are  not  allowed  to  freely  move  within  their  
community   to   visit   and   till   their   swidden   farms   and   pastureland   in   Malibcong   and   the  
whole  Malanas  line.    The  AFP  requires  the  people  to  present  their  valid  ID  or  residence  
certificate   before   going   in   or   out   of   the   community.     They   were   told   not   to   go   to   the  
forests   and   that   they   have   to   seek   permission   or   inform   the   military   forces   of   their  
whereabouts  and  schedules  before    going    out  of  the  community.  

• Food  blockade  -­‐    Entry  or  purchase  of  food  in  the  community  is  limited,  as  the  military  
troops  suspect  that  if  “extra”  food  is  brought  in,  this  will  be  given  to  the  NPA.  

• Encampment  within  residential  area  endangering  civilians  and  several  cases  of  violation  
of  domicile  

• Indiscriminate   air   strikes   using   phosphorus   bombs   resulting   to   the   burning   of   the  
communal  forest  of  the  indigenous  people  of  Mataragan  and  Bangilo.  

•  Illegal   arrest   and   detention   –   4   cases   of   illegal   arrest   and   detention   including   1   minor  
and  2  women.  

• Threat/Harassment/Intimidation     -­‐   Lt.   Col.   Baluga   openly   issued   a   threat   against  
civilians  suspected  to  be  supporters  of  the  New  People’s  Army  in  a  community  meeting.  
 Palparan  Battalion  -­‐  after  General  Jovito  Palparan  infamous  for  his  grave  human  rights  violations  against  
the  Filipino  people  especially  when  Operation  Plan  Bantay  Laya  I  and  II  were  in  effect  under  the  regime  of  then  
President  Gloria  Macapagal-­‐Arroyo.  

“Daytoy   nga   Bala   biruken   na   ti   kalaban   na   pati   dagiti   supporter   na.”       (Bullets   will   not  
only  be  used  to  hunt  the  enemy  but  also  their  supporters.)  

We   condemn   all   these   violations   of   the   the   Comprehensive   Agreement   on   Respect   for   Human  
Rights  and  International  Humanitarian  Law  (CARHRIHL)  that  have  sown  terror  in  the  Mabaka  
Gubang  and  Banao  ancestral  domain..  

Farming   was   disrupted   since   the   indiscriminate   bombings   between   the   boundaries   of   Sitio  
Putol,   Sitio   Matalibeng,   and   Bangilo   last   March   16,   2017.     Rice   fields   and   swidden   farms,   the  
people’s   main   source   of   livelihood,   are   unattended.   Economic   activity   is   hampered   because   of  
fear.  They  are  forced  to  stay  inside  the  community  without  assurance  that  food  will  be  available  
the  next  day.  

Classes   from   Kinder   to   High   School   in   Mataragan   and   Bangilo   were   suspended   for   one   week  
after  the  bombing  violating  the  children’s  rights  to  education.  
The   Peace   and   Solidarity   Mission   organized   by   CHRA   was   not   spared   from   intimidation.     Lt.   Col.  
Baluga   and   his   troops   attempted   to   bar   the   mission   team   from   entering   the   community   and  
holding   activities   in   the   area,   despite   compliance   with   protocol   courtesy   calls   to   appropriate  
local  government  units.  

Inspite  of  this,  the  people  of  Brgys.  Umnap,  Buanao,  Lat-­‐ey,  Paqued  and  Mataragan  persisted  to  
hold   community   assemblies   as   part   of   the   Peace   Mission   as   a   statement   to   the   AFP   that   the  
rights   and   welfare   of   the   civilians   should   be   upheld   and   protected,   especially   in   a   civil   war.     The  
harassments,  surveillance,  outright  threats  from  the  AFP  failed  to  cow  the  people’s  assertion  of  

We   call   on   the   people   to   stand   with   the   Mabaka,   Gubang   and   Banao   tribes   and   other   militarized  
communities  in  the  country.    As  the  peace  talks  between  the  Government  of  the  Republic  of  the  
Philippines  (GRP)  and  the  National  Democratic  Front  of  the  Philippines  (NDFP)  have  resumed,  
we   call   for   support   for   the   CARHRIHL   to   be   fully   implemented,   and   for   an   independent  
investigation  be  conducted  on  the    aerial  bombing  conducted  by  the  AFP.      

With   the   foreseen   negative   economic   impact   of   the   miltarization   of   the   Malibcong,   we   also  
appeal  for  financial  and  material  support  for  the  people.    


For  reference:  

Imelda  Tabiando  

Secretary  General