ATM Statement on the 1st Anniversary of the TAMASCO Massacre
ATM stands with the T’boli-Ubo-Manobo tribe from Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, as they continue to seek justice for the killing of Datu Victor Danyan and seven of his companions. They were all members of the T’boli Manobo S’daf Claimants Organization (TAMASCO), and are resisting the illegal coffee plantation operated by Consunji-owned Silvicultural Industries (SII).
As ATM, we reflect that the stand against destructive mining is a stand for the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples. This resistance of TAMASCO against an illegal forestry management agreement by a coffee plantation company is the same resistance to an extractivist project like large-scale mining.
The struggle of TAMASCO is the genuine and often dangerous struggle of indigenous peoples to protect their lands and assert their right to self-determination of their future, within their ancestral domain. Because of their courageous stand, they were gunned down mercilessly last Dec. 3, 2017.
The TAMASCO massacre reflects the high price that lumads pay in order to assert their indigenous rights. ATM condemns this senseless violence against lumads, a story repeated in many other mining-affected communities.
ATM joins the demands of the affected communities and their support groups. As Task Force TAMASCO, we demand that government agencies must be held accountable. DENR must immediately cancel IFMA No. 18-2007, which was illegally merged with the expired IFMA No. 22. NCIP must ensure that TAMASCO members are protected and enjoy the fruits of their ancestral domain. The CHR must step in and resolve the case immediately, in favor of TAMASCO, and provide sanctuary for witnesses and survivors. The AFP and the PNP must investigate and hold accountable those who perpetrated these heinous human rights violations.
TAMASCO has clearly said NO already and for so many times! No to the IFMA and the coffee plantation! No to the continued harassment and threats! No to the destruction of their ancestral domains! No to the cultural displacement they are facing!
The government must listen and respect the right to say NO! of TAMASCO and all indigenous communities. #
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Danny Arias, Mindanao Campaign Coordinator – email@example.com
Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org