|What this knot is all about?|
Aquino is a worse deluge to indigenous peoples -- KATRIBU
Submitted by Kodao on Fri, 08/10/2012 - 02:21.
Today, August 9, 2012, indigenous peoples under the Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas and KATRIBU Partylist commemmorate the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, amid torrential monsoon rains flooding Manila and nearby provinces. Plenty of homes and livelihoods are inundated or washed away by floodwater, thousands have evacuated to safety, and several have lost their lives in the midst of an incessant rainfall in the past few days.
The National Capital Region received a rainfall that surpassed even the wrath of Ondoy in 2009. Based on the reports of Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), the monsoon rains packed a 472 millimeters of accumulated rainfall in 22 hours. Flooding affected numbers 1.2 million in NCR, while Marikina, Laguna, Bataan, Pampanga and Zambales are declared under a state of calamity.Nineteen had been reported dead as of writing, while the displaced and evacuated exceeds a million.
On this day that we highlight the struggles of indigenous peoples for land and self-determination, the Dumagat people in the hillsides of the Sierra Madre, the Ayta people of Central Luzon, and the Igorot people in the Cordillera are suffering the effects of the hard rains. Areas with mining operations, such as in Laur, Nueva Ecija, and in Mankayan, Benguet are placed in worse danger with an overflowing tailings dam and soil subsidence respectively. Rains brought on by typhoon Gener also halted operations of Philex mining corporation in Padcal, Tuba, Benguet a few days ago due to a “sinkhole” in its tailings pond, leaking chemicals into the river.
Indigenous peoples and environmentalists have long pointed out that these disasters will be significantly minimized if the government departs from globalization policies of deregulation, privatization, and liberalization that exploits our resources and destroys the environment. Imperialist globalization disregard environmental protection and responsible resource management. This significantly increases the vulnerability of indigenous peoples and other rural folk affected by mining, fishery, energy, and forestry projects, in addition to the depletion of our natural resources and livelihood.
During calamities, the marginalized suffer the worst of its effects. Barely reached by social services, they are the last, if ever, to be assisted or brought to safety. The damage and destruction of the homes and livelihoods of the people in the margins, including indigenous peoples, are nearly never accounted for in government estimate of the damages brought on by calamities, especially those who live in remote areas.
In the past 17 years since its declaration, the indigenous peoples under KAMP usually marks the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples with protests, in the face of continuing and worsening conditions of the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, a condition that persists under the present regime. The Aquino administration's sophomore year in power is markedly oppressive to the collective and civil rights of the indigenous peoples in its active peddling of our natural resources, defended by a brutal counter-insurgency scheme.
Aquino and his yellow troops of electioneering cohorts have scoured flood devastated areas, feigning concern for the calamity-stricken. In truth, the welfare of the people is less than an afterthought in the policies implemented by the Aquino regime, which has placed the entire Filipino people in danger of plunder, environmental degradation, and human rights violations.
The worst environmental destruction happens in areas with mining operations. In mining, forests are cleared out, rivers dammed off, and mountains are carved out. In the promulgation of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 (PDP), the economic game plan of the Aquino administration, mining and energy projects are one of the priorities of its centerpiece Public-Private-Partnership Program. So far, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau approved 507 mining applications all over the country, and roughly 60% of these are in ancestral lands. Aquino solidified his position in favor of mining corporations with Executive Order 79, that greases the wheels in mining applications and approvals.
Undeterred by the flooding and calamities caused by large dams, the Aquino administration pushes for the privatization of the energy sector under the Public-Private-Partnership program. At least nine local and foreign-funded dam projects threaten displacement to many indigenous communities all over the country. The Laiban Dam, located barely an hour away from Manila, is now in the process of reassessment. The construction of this hydro-electric project is fatal to low-lying places in the capital.
Consequent to the destruction caused by Pepeng and Ondoy in 2009, the Aquino government swore to prevent the same scale of damage to the people. Yet, the destruction, harm, and casualties of the Aquino administration is far worse than the thundering monsoon. The relief operations and other gimmicks that the administration does to keep appearance that it has the people's welfare in priority is a hypocrisy, amid its economic and military policies that batter the people everyday.
The unrelenting crisis that results in the promulgation of liberalization policies resulted in the worse poverty, landlessness, and unemployment. According to the Social Weather Station (SWS) unemployment reached 34.4% in the first quarter of 2012, while 1.2 million people experienced severe hunger.
Human rights violations swell alongside the determination of the administration to pull off its aggressive economic agendas. Oplan Bayanihan, which claims to respect human rights has been fully unmasked in the 15 extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples, and the 14 incidences of forced evacuations in a span of two years. Evacuations in mine-affected areas, such as in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur, are neither due to floods nor landslides but due to militarization and human rights abuses. Lengthy suspensions of classes are not brought on by weather distubances but because of combat operations, military harassment of teaches and students, and the red-tagging of community schools.
The last couple of years under the government of Benigno Aquino III fully panned out its servility to the dicates of imperialist powers. In its overall economic strategy embodied in the PDP, it reaffirmed the disreputed schemes of liberalization, privatization, and deregulation that buried the Philippines into a deep and unescapable crisis. The PPP, the centerpiece program of the PDP and unceasingly parroted by the Aquino clique, a repackaging of anti-people, pro-imperialist policies worn out by past regimes, sold off the Philippines' land, resources, and people.
The lipservice, deception, and elaborate window-dressing of the Aquino government could not disprove the raging crisis that beset the Filipino people. The assertion of indigenous peoples for their rights to land and to self-determination heightens as the attacks against their rights grows worse. In the grave violations of their rights, the indigenous peoples have, and are, defending their land, life, and rights in various platforms and fronts.