Last December 11, all nine victims were red-tagged and accused of being communist rebel supporters, while TUMANDUK faced accusation as a front organization of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). Meanwhile, 10 residents from Tapaz, Capis and 7 from in Calinog, Iloilo were arrested over alleged illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
TUMANDOK or Tumandok nga Mangunguma nga Nagapangapin sa Duta kag Kabuhi/Tumandok Farmers in Defense of Land and Life is an alliance of 17 indigenous communities in Tapaz and Jamindan towns in Capiz and Calinog in Iloilo province against the militarization, displacement, and development aggression on their ancestral lands. Since 2013, the Tumandok have long resisted and opposed the 11.2-billion peso Jalaur Mega Dam project. This project will affect 17,000 Tumandok and 600 communities.
As of January 1st, the Tumandok evacuated their homes as militarization of their communities intensified and fear that they will suffer the same fate as those who were killed and arrested. Currently, there is a call for an investigation by the Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU) to seek accountability in committing these human rights violations. The murder and arrest of Tumandok leaders and the evacuation of their communities reflect the ongoing state terrorism and violence against the Filipino people. Specifically against Indigenous people through counterinsurgency programs and aggressive development projects on ancestral lands currently under the US-Duterte regime’s Build, Build, Build program.
Similarly in Canada, Indigenous leaders and elders have been arrested and harassed for defending and protecting their ancestral lands from resource exploitation, such as the oil pipelines. Indigenous communities also face aggression and militarization by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). For instance, during a protest against the development of a pipeline on ancestral Wet’suwet’en lands, the RCMP raided the area with the intent to arrest protesters. These officers were instructed to “use as much violence toward the gate as you want”. The strategy notes for the raid state the requirement of “lethal overwatch” – the term for an officer who is prepared to use lethal force.
The intensified state terror against Indigenous people in the Philippines for resisting further shows the fascist US-Duterte regime’s persistence in silencing any opposition using military forces through violence and murder. Anakbayan Toronto condemns the Tumandok massacre and attacks on Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, Canada, and across the world. We call on Filipinos in Canada to hold Canadian mining companies and the Philippine government accountable in displacing and committing human rights violations on ancestral lands in the Philippines. We amplify the call to demand justice for the victims of the Tumandok Massacre and to stop the killings in the Philippines!
Justice For Tumandok Massacre!
Uphold Indigenous Peoples’ Rights To Ancestral Lands!
Defend IP Rights!
Stop The Killings In The Philippines!
Stop The Attacks!