Militarization robs minorities of independence Independence is won through class war

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As the country commemorates Independence Day, the people of Ifugao remain chained to fear and anxiety over their lives. It is almost two months since Philippine Army units launched expansive combat and intelligence operations in the province. Massive evacuation, especially in the municipality of Asipulo, gave rise to displacement, circumstances that run counter to any national minorities’ relationship with their ancestral land.

For the minorities to be independent, they must be able to fully exercise their right to self-determination, something that is practically impossible if they are barred from their own ili, from their own kataltalonan and uma. worse, militarization occurs in other provinces of the Cordilleras; thus, the denial of this right is wholesale and incessant. Indigenous peoples are constant victims both of displacement and of ensuing deprivation of agricultural opportunities.

In truth, not only the minorities, but the whole of the peasant class, are victims of economic violence. On June 9, at least 90 individuals were taken by the municipal police force in Concepcion, Tarlac. Amidst the brutal scuffle after the victims understandably resisted the illegal arrest, they were told that they are being charged for being members of the New People’s Army. Yet, the farmers were 1998 beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and were currently engaged in bungkalan when the fascists came.

Meanwhile, Baguio officials recently specified the amount of Php75.5 billion to ‘improve farming economy’ under a 10-year modernization plan. The request is set to be forwarded to the illegitimately won regime of Marcos II. But how will this appeal for bigger budget differ from past petitions? Government neglect is so pervasive a condition that it contributes to the further impoverishment and isolation of the national minorities. Worse, any amount is already prone to corruption and other bureaucratic ills in a rotten system.

Thus, the peoples of the Cordillera celebrate the concept of independence by reaffirming that only through revolutionary struggle is this achieved. To wage a class war is to take the first important steps toward liberating oneself against political terrorism and economic slavery. The minorities, as part of the peasant class, pledges to prove its historic role in the democratic people’s revolution, for the realization of independence, liberation and national democracy. ###

Stop the militarization of communities!

Allow the minorities back into their ancestral territories!

Independence through revolutionary war! Kaigorotan, kumameng iti NPA!

Independence is won through class war