But in the Philippines, the links between environmental degradation and militarization are intimate. Government counterinsurgency campaigns have been most violent in the regions of the Philippines with natural and mineral resources that are largely untapped by extractive projects, whether it’s Mindanao in the south or the Cordilleras in the north. Brandon was shot because he opposed a hydropower project that would have displaced indigenous communities in the north, while to the south, indigenous Lumad leaders have been killed and schools dedicated to the teaching of sustainable agricultural practices occupied under the guise of anti-communism.
Since March 2019, the 85th IBPA has been involved in human rights violations against coconut farmers in Quezon. Farmers in Macalelon and Lopez towns have been forced to evacuate due to continuing harassment and accusations of being supporters of the New People’s Army.
“We only want to farm in peace. When the military arrests the people they should be protecting, who do they really serve?”
Over 600 indigenous Mangyan families have been forced to evacuate from their homes in Victoria and Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro due to military operations including low-altitude strafing and bombing.
“The systematic series of human rights violations in Oriental Mindoro, Quezon, and the rest of Southern Tagalog all have the same pattern – they are all caused by development aggression carried out by large companies and backed by the Duterte regime.”
Since 2017 peasants and peasant women in Northern Samar have complained of extra-judicial killings, military encampment in public schools and in barangays, forcible mass evacuation affecting 2,423 victims, illegal arrest and detention, series of aerial bombing, psywar and surveillance, destruction of properties, sexual harassment and others.
READ ALSO: In peril: Southeast Asia’s environment and its defenders (Part 1 of 2) By Clemente Bautista Jr. and Paul Christian Yang-ed Kalikasan has been conducting researches into the cases of killings of environmental defenders in Southeast Asia. From the data we gathered, so far, we observe the following three patterns or trends: – There…
“Allowing China to build military facilities in our own backyard is not a move of good faith but an affirmation of the Duterte regime’s foreign policy of national sellout and subjugation to international powers.”
The study discusses different forms of militarism, the reasons behind it and its effects in women.
“Our call is to stop militarization, not only in the UP Mindanao campus but also in all other campuses all over the country.”
BULATLAT SPECIAL REPORT:
“This is not just seeking sanctuary, but also our protest, to demand respect for us indigenous people, not just in Mindanao, but the whole country.”