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Justice Sought for Slain Tribal Leader; Heroism Honored

ATM Statement | December 3, 2022

Alyansa Tigil Mina demanded justice for the killing of tribal leader Datu Victor Danyan, who was murdered five years ago today in what was alleged by military officials to be a clash between government soldiers and communist rebels.


“We demand that government fulfill its obligation to stop violence against environmental human rights defenders and to serve justice for the attacks and killings of environmental activists, particularly of Datu Victor,” said Rene Pamplona, Chairperson of Alyansa Tigil Mina.


Datu Victor Danyan is best remembered as a tribal chieftain, who led the Indigenous People’s organisation TAMASCO, formed by the T’boli Manobo, to assert their rights as Indigenous Peoples in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. He fought and protested against the land grabbing and the corporate abuse of their land, which involved the encroachment of DM Consunji Incorporated (DMCI)-owned Silvicultural Industries, Inc.’s (SII) Dawang Coffee Plantation and San Miguel Energy Corp.’s coal mining application.


TAMASCO (T'boli-Manobo S'daf Claimants Organization) also commemorated the fifth death anniversary of Datu Victor, his two children, grandchildren and nephews and nieces. A “DAMSU”, a tribal ritual, was conducted at the burial site in Datal Bonlangon.


"Patuloy ang paghahangad namin ng hustisya. Patuloy din ang aming pagbibigay proteksyon sa aming lupaing ninuno kasama nang pagbawi ng kalakhan nito para sa kinabukasan ng aming tribu," said Datu Dande Dinya, Chairman of TAMASCO.


(We continue to seek justice. We also continue to provide protection to our ancestral lands and recover most of it for the future of our tribe,” said Datu Dande Dinya, Chairman of TAMASCO.0


Datu Victor is among those being honoured by human rights and green groups as “Environmental Heroes and Martyrs” this year. The others include: Armin Marin, Gerry Ortega, Eliezer Billanes, Gensun Agustin and Gloria Capitan


“We are paying tribute to the heroism of these fallen green warriors, so the younger generations will know them and the good fight they waged. At this time when the administration and corporations are trying hard to either erase or tarnish the memory of these activists, it is important for us to honor and remember them and their sacrifices,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.


From November 30 until December 8, remembrance activities will be undertaken in different parts of the country to recognize the heroism and martyrdom of selected environmental defenders.


The commemorative activities for the envi heroes will culminate on December 8, dubbed as the Day of Environmental Heroes and Martyrs, which is also part of the celebrations for International Human Rights Week.

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