Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cordillera Peoples Alliance: "On President Duterte’s First 100 Days"

[Press release as sent by Windel Bolinget of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance] - On the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) recognizes his pro-people statements and actions while remaining critical of the conduct of the war against drugs.

CPA chairperson, Windel Bolinget said that, “Among the progressive statements and actions of President Duterte is the appointment of several cabinet positions from the members of the Left; resumption of the Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines; and assertion of an independent foreign policy.”

Bolinget added that, “The recent decisions and actions by Secretary Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against large scale mining in the region such as the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company and Benguet Corporation are positive and welcomed by the communities which have been calling for the permanent closure of these destructive mining firms.”

“But despite these positive developments, the challenges being faced by indigenous peoples are still there. As an example is the continuing militarization of IP communities despite the unilateral declaration of ceasefire,” continued by Bolinget.

Bolinget further stated that, “Beyond 100 days, we still urge President Duterte to bring human rights violators and perpetrators to justice. Military officers and paramilitary groups involved in the numerous killings of indigenous peoples and their advocates should be punished. We also continue to challenge President Duterte to exact accountability from the Benigno Simeon Aquino regime for the numerous extrajudicial killings of national minorities and other peoples rights violations during his term.”

In addition, Bolinget added that, “We urge President Duterte to do more on the issue of endo and on the respect and recognition of IP rights. Due process of law must be observed even at the height of the war against drugs.”

Lastly, the CPA will continue and actively monitor the administration of President Duterte on his pro and anti-people policies, programs and project.