Global IP group condemns hero's monument demolition

A PLANNED removal of markers in Bugnay, Kalinga is being opposed by international groups.

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) is openly condemning a plan to remove the heroes'

monument of indigenous martyrs Macli-ing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan.

Beverly Longid, global coordinator of IPMSDL, said the heroes' monument, built through the joint undertaking by the martyr's family, the communities, and the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), is a legacy and reminder of the bravery of those who stood in all forms of resistance from people's movements to armed struggle.

Longid also condemned what she describes as a "persisting fascist attacks against the CPA."

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) confirmed the structures were built along road right of way and is up for demolition.

IPMSDL said the Provincial Advisory Council of Kalinga Provincial Police office request to remove the heroes' monument after Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director General R'winPagkalinawan visited Bugnay, Kalinga, where the monument is located.

"On many occasions while people are grappling with the pandemic, Gen. Pagkalinawan and police elements have repeatedly red-tagged the CPA, accusing them as recruiters of the New Peoples' Army," the statement read.

Longid called on the public to strengthen the call for solidarity for the Indigenous Peoples' aspiration for historical justice and for self-determination.

"While Indigenous Peoples are reclaiming their history, the Philippine National Police, on the other hand, is deliberately revising the people's history to fit the government's narratives. These are part and parcel of the government's plans to desecrate the memory of our IP martyrs and erase the rich and militant history of people's resistance against destructive projects, plunderers, and rights violators. It desperately devalues the people's capacity to push for radical changes and decide to shape their future. From the growing criminalization, harassment, and terrorist-tagging of indigenous rights defenders and the CPA, to the blatant attacks on the Indigenous history and narratives, the present challenges urge us to affirm and continue what Macli-ing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, Lumbaya Gayudan, and many Indigenous martyrs around the world fought for," she said.

IPMSDL added the Dulag, Dungoc and Gayudan monument was built to honor those who fought to defend the lives and rights of the indigenous communities against the construction of the Chico Dams.

On April 24, 1980, military forces gunned down Dulag and Dungoc in an attempt to curb the growing people's resistance.

Dulag, tribal chieftain of the Butbut tribe, was killed on that night, but Dungoc survived and later joined the revolt to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship as an NPA member.

Gayuden, one of the tribal leaders of the Butbut tribe, and many others from warrior communities had also been targeted by military forces, and after witnessing the limitations of purely legal struggle, they joined the NPA.

The IPMSDL recounted the Chico River DampProject funded by the World Bank was one of the priority projects during the Marcos dictatorship sought to exploit the natural resources of the Cordillera.

The plan was to build a series of dams along the Chico River for power generation that would have flooded towns, villages, rice fields, and even sacred burial grounds in Kalinga and in Mountain Province.

The dam also threatened to displace over a thousand indigenous Igorot families, and affect the lives, livelihood, lands, and water source of more than 100,000 IP in Kalinga and Bontoc. Affected indigenous communities organized petitions and delegations to draw the government's attention to their concerns regarding the project, it said.

"The historic anti-Chico Dams struggle is built upon and strengthened by the collective power of the IP of Cordillera alongside IP advocates and rights defenders for their right to their ancestral land and self-determination, the success of the IP of Cordillera who bravely stood against the IMF and World Bank in the time of the dictatorship is a monumental win of the struggle of IP around the world directly threatened by State forces and big business dispossessing them of their lands and life," Longid said.


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