Missing Kalinga-based IP rights activist found

“Prior to this incident, Steve was subjected to red-tagging, surveillance and harassment.”


MANILA – Alive but shocked.

This is how Kinja Cariño Tauli described her father, Stephen Tauli, a long-time development worker and indigenous people’s rights defender, who was found last night after he was believed to be abducted by state forces on Saturday night, August 20.

In an earlier statement, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) said Tauli, 63, was beaten up and kidnapped by five men in a store along Ag-a Road, Appas, Tabuk City in Kalinga province.

Tauli, regional council member of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance, has long been subjected to red-tagging, particularly by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that even held a forum in the Kalinga State University last week.

“Active since the Chico Dam struggle, he has persistently campaigned against dams, mines, and other forms of development aggression against the Cordillera peoples. For his committed work, he was wrongly red-tagged and subjected to surveillance and harassment,” Kinja wrote in her Facebook post.

Tauli’s colleagues in the human rights movement have also called for his surfacing and demanded the government to stop harassing developmental workers in the province.

“Manong Steve’s only crime is his commitment to organizing and empowering the people to defend their ancestral lands against development aggression and militarization,” the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera, an alliance of cultural organizations and individuals in Cordillera, said.

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) said Tauli needs to recover to be able to state the full account since he was assaulted and kidnapped. (JJE, RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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