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  • Government intervention sought vs Lumad Banwaon evacuation in Agusan del Sur

    With the ongoing evacuation of members of the Banwaon tribe in San Luis town in Agusan del Sur, a religious group has questioned the government's inattention to the loss of lives in the country that is blatant among the marginalized, including these evacuees.

    "When does a loss of life merit attention? Here in the Philippines where heroes and villains are determined by the media, the value of life and death is reserved only for the prominent and the powerful," said Ma. Famita Somogod, MSM, sub-regional coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines–Northern Mindanao Region.

    Sr ...

  • Caraga lumads peasants say State of region is marked with blood

    At mid-day, the gates of Almont hotel's inland Resort were deliberately closed as security personnel scamper to control hundreds of placard holding Caraganons lining it. Inside, Sol F. Matugas, Chairperson of the Regional Development Council Delivers his first ever State of the Region Address in front of a delegation of Caraga's regional line agencies, Local government units and partners.

    "If Sol F. Matugas is telling all of us about the state of the region, he should be all accounts put into writing what we have to say" exclaims Franklin Campos, of Lumad group KASALO-Caraga. "Only few gove ...

  • Pregnant mother and 2 children die as Banwaons flee their homes in Agusan del Sur from mining companies

    Three evacuees have died as Lumad communities blame the evacuation to relentless military operations "meant to pave the way for mining" in San Luis town, Agusan del Sur.

    A pregnant woman and two children have died as nearly 1,000 individuals from the Banwaon tribe, have evacuated their homes in four villages in San Luis town, Agusan del Sur province. The evacuees fled from military operations, which they said were pushing "mining interests."

    According to human rights group Karapatan-Caraga, 18-year old Nayan Gallino, who had ectopic pregnancy, died at the evacuation site on Feb. 2, at 5 ...

  • Tribal group hits rights violations against Banwaon in mountains of Agusan del Sur

    The Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan (KAMP) on Monday expressed "serious concern" over alleged human-rights violations committed against tribesmen in Agusan del Sur.

    KAMP Spokesman Piya Macliing Malayao said human-rights violations against the Banwaon people in the mountains of Agusan del Sur escalated after the military's alleged killing of Necasio "Angis" Precioso Sr. last December 22, the first day of the suspension of military operations declared by the Armed Forces.

    Precioso was the barangay captain of Balit, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, and a defender of the Banwaon people's righ ...

  • Killing of indigenous human rights defenders Mr Datu Alvie Binungkasan and Mr Rico Badbaran

    Front Line is deeply saddened to learn of the recent killings of Mr Datu Alvie Binungkasan and Mr Rico Badbaran in Mindanao province, Philippines. Datu Alvie Binungkasan was shot in his home on the evening of 20 November 2009, and Rico Badbaran was killed on 24 November.

    Further Information
    Both Datu Alvie Binungkasan and Rico Badbaran were indigenous activists working on land rights issues for the Lumad people who continue to protest against large-scale mining operations and the expansion of plantations, as well as militarization in the region.

    On 20 November 2009, at approximately 7.0 ...

  • Ethnic groups still poor fighting for land

    Fifteen years after the implementation of the Indigenous People's Rights Act (Ipra) and four years since the country adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Undrip), indigenes continue to wallow in poverty. They are also being harassed, discriminated and worse, murdered while defending their ancestral lands against encroachments.

    Touted as a "novel piece of legislation" when it was passed in 1997, RA 8371 or the Ipra is an "act to recognize, protect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural community/indigenous people, creating a national commission o ...