On the occasion of Cordillera Day 2024, let me share with you a message from the IPMSDL The Indigenous Peoples
Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) joins the Cordillera peoples on this 40th Peoples’ Cordillera Day in celebrating the lives of our heroes and martyrs, and the struggle against development aggression and fascist attacks on their rights, land, life and honor. We pay the highest salute and recognition to the Cordillera
peoples’ determined spirit and inspiring victories in forwarding Indigenous Peoples struggle for self-determination nationally and in the international arena from then till now.

Our very own movement, the IPMSDL, traces its roots on the Cordillera and the leadership of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) for years. We are continuously inspired and carry the lessons of their contribution in building our
Indigenous youth, women, food and peasant work, in indigenous led energy and sustainable defense of resources and environment, in indigenous culture, arts and values, and in articulating and raising the role of Indigenous peoples and minorities against imperialism and for social justice and equality.

Forty years ago marked the first Cordillera Day symbolizing the unity and solidarity among the different indigenous peoples of the Cordillera in commemoration of the murder of Apo Macli-iing Dulag, chieftain of the Butbut tribe in
the Kalinga province, for strongly opposing the World Bank-funded Chico Dam project of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Thus, this year’s two-day celebration in Kalinga therefore marks both significantly symbolic and much compelling in the backdrop of the challenges faced by the Cordillera peoples – hundreds of foreign mining and
energy projects, imperialist sponsored bombings and militarization, and state-sponsored rampage of enforced disappearance, judicial harassment, terrorist tagging and harassment on Cordillera activists, organizations and communities.?

Mining and energy projects, large dams, geothermal plants, and wind energy plants endanger the environment, livelihood, and ways of life the people have been protecting for years. With the aggressive entry of energy and
extractive investments, the government armed forces have also worked harder to try and pacify the people’s resistance from interrupting their projects. Communities in Kalinga and Abra provinces have recently experienced aerial drone bombardments and bombings in the guise of US-backed anti-communist campaigns. Hundreds of indigenous and farming communities forcibly evacuated and left behind their farmlands.

A spree of attacks includes the government’s “terrorists” designation of the CPA leaders resulting in the freezing of assets and bank accounts of the four CPA activists, their families, and even CPA’s bank accounts. Other leaders face cyber libel charges from the police. The destruction of the Macliing Memorial monument, the resolution of persona non grata against CPA, and the cases of redtagging are just some cases of the worsening human rights situation in the region. The endless pursuit to profit from their mountains, rivers and rich resources coupled with fascism and repression is causing the widespread disaster in the Cordillera. But the valiant, courageous, and decisive militancy
of Cordillera’s Indigenous communities defeats any attempts to malign their just struggle.

We call on the international community and the many advocates, supporters and friends of the Cordilleran people who have been welcomed in their communities and have experienced their culture and bravery to amplify their struggles. The Cordillera peoples have a long history of resistance against invaders and oppressors of their people. They have fought centuries of Spanish and American colonization. The Indigenous Peoples had fought against
dictatorships past and present. The current regime’s agenda favoring foreign corporations over the wellbeing of the Cordillera peoples, brute force of fascism and attacks against the Cordillera peoples rights and welfare only signals continued struggle for their land, life, and honor as their ancestors have shown for centuries.

Amianan Balita Ngayon