COMMITTED BY THE COMMUNIST TERRORIST GROUP (CTG)
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE & CULTURAL COMMUNITIES
For over 50 years of manipulation and deceit, the most helpless victims of the CTG have been our native tribes all around the country.
This is their story.
Courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office
the supplanting and replacement of IP tribal leaders with revolutionaries
For decades, the CTG has forcefully subdued or murdered IP traditional leaders and systematically replaced them with violent revolutionaries.
"In our customary laws, our leaders hand-over our culture and traditions verbally to our successors. These include hunting, farming, and other cultural activities. We have no written culture and traditions.
Killing an IP leader is killing our cultural heritage."
Datu Nestor Apas
Langlang Manobo Tribe Elder
Lakbay-Hukay was an interagency-initiated program where the remains IP leaders and members murdered by the CTG were exhumed in Mindanao. Over 500 IPs are estimated to have been killed and buried in mass graves all over Mindanao alone. Many bodies are still missing.
Datu Rico Maca, Indigenous People Mandatory Representative, laments the loss of the lives of his brothers and sisters during the 4th Lakbay-Hukay operation. Speaking out against the atrocities committed by the NPA is dangerous for tribal leaders, especially in areas such as Surigao del Sur, where the most recent series of indiscriminate killings of Manobo leaders and elders have been carried out by the terrorist group.
the murder of thousands of IPs for their refusal to cooperate in the terrorist movement
The CTG has a long-standing history of slaughtering innocent IPs for their refusal to join or otherwise support the Communist movement.
In a report submitted to the United Nations addressed to Secretary General Antonio Guterres in 2020, the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders & Leaders (MIPCEL) details how amid President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for a military ceasefire during the pandemic, the CPP continues killing IP/CC members through their armed component, the NPA.
Included in the report are the murders below, which the NPA proudly admitted to being responsible for through their spokesperson in a radio interview which was widely broadcasted in the province of Surigao del Sur.
The tragic aftermath of what was meant to be a peaceful day of worship. In broad daylight of June 25, 1989, the CTG opened fire on a Protestant Church in a village in Rano, Davao Del Sur, resulting in murder of 40 men, women, and children. The victims were killed after showing reluctance to submit to NPA rule.
Huwadon "Bandi" Astudillo (73), was a highly respected Manobo tribe leader and elder.
His death is a great loss to the Manobo of Surigao del Sur, as since he was a tribe elder, he was their culture bearer and repository of spiritual, historical indigenous knowledge and practices.
He was stabbed to death by Joel Mahinay and his NPA comrades on 19 March 2020.
Bagobo-Tagabawa survivors of the Rano Massacre recount the Sunday afternoon they lost their husbands, wives, children, and friends at the hands of the New People's Army
See full report on the Surigao del Sur killings here.
Despite the irrefutable evidence provided by the IP/CC to the UN (survivor accounts, photo documentation), there has been a lack of action in the international community to withdraw support to the CPP front organizations, where they source most of their funding.
"We trust that you will find the truth in the personal narration of the victim’s family, and the gravity and extent of these violent actions while you validate the claims and false reports that the CPP/NPA and their front organizations had habitually submitted to your office."
Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Council of Elders & Elders
addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
A mass grave was discovered in 2006, indicating signs of an internal mass purging within the ranks of the NPA. These are believed to be the victims of the 1985 "Oplan Ahos", a prerogative to cleanse the rebel ranks of military informants. Over 1,230 were murdered here.
Even in instances where IPs joined the movement, thousands of lives have been lost at the hands of their cadres.
From the 1983 to the late 90's, there was a series of infamous purges, where the CTG orchestrated mass internal "cleansings" of their ranks.
Ilocos Norte, 1983
Cadena de Amor
Quezon and Bicol, 1984
Southern Quezon, 1985
Southern Tagalog, 1987
Northern & Central Luzon, 1988
Source: Bloody Trails and Deception, 2019
the extortion of revolutionary tax from IP communities
An estimated billions of worth in livestock and produce have been stolen and extorted from the IP's livelihood over the course of 53 years.
IP/CC livestock, farm produce, sari-sari store merchandise, habal-habal transport, and other forms of income are stolen by the NPA until today, amounting up to about 460 million pesos annually.
If the IP/CC refuse to cooperate or are otherwise unable to pay the NPA tax collectors, they are killed by the rebel militants.
the invasion and subjugation of ancestral land
Be it protracted occupation or forced entry, the CTG has transformed acres of peaceful ancestral land into breeding grounds for terrorism.
"The Terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF
group threatened my family and my entire
community. They stole huge portions of our land. Our land is our heritage, our life.
They robbed us of life."
In invading ancestral land, the NPA has displaced and driven out thousands of indigenous peoples unwilling to support their cause over the course of five decades. The result is the destruction and loss of culture and tradition, as these lands that have been held on for generations are now used for propagating terrorism.
"I call on the international community to please stop the support to these organizations who are allied with the CPP-NPA. For the past 50 years, the CPP-NPA has come to our ancestral domain to steal the peace and development that we have in our community."
This is due in big part to the continuous financial support the CTG receives through its front organizations. Funding that is meant for the indigenous people is instead used to fund terrorism and arms used to force tribes out of their homelands.
Datu Panuliman James Binayao
Manobo Talandaaig Tribe
the miseducation of IP youth through informal centers
Under the guise of outreach programs and fronts such as the Salugpungan, MISFI, and ALCADEV schools, the CTG claim that they provide a holistic education to the IP youth.
The truth is much darker. Instead, the IPs are fed communist propaganda, taught to hate and mistrust government, and trained to become child warriors for the terrorist movement.
Watch: A rescued NPA child warrior assembles an M16 rifle in under 90 seconds and brandishes it, something he has learned in his training as a child warrior, as thousands of other IP children have.
A recent series of the closure Salugpungan schools by the government has brought relief to IP leaders and former Salugpungan students, starting in 2019 continuing to this day.
A news report detailing Datu Awing - a former Salugpungan school teacher, his account of his experiences in the schools, and his call for the schools to be shut down immediately.
Included in his testimony: being taught how to shoot a gun at the age of 5, learning how to hold an M16 rifle at the age of 6, and being brought to other Salugpungan schools to share his knowledge by the age of 10.
For further reference:
"Pagkagraduate sa Salugpungan [schools], dalawa lang ang pagtutunguhan: ang mga rally, o ang digmaan. Wala kaming future sa Salugpungan."
Datu Awing Apuga
Former Salugpungan student and teacher
For further reference, see:
the agitation and deception of IPs
Fallacious propaganda is the weapon of the CTG in spreading violent and seditious thoughts among the IP tribes.
Convinced that the government is to blame for the hardships suffered at the hands of the NPA, many IP/CC members are agitated to the point of taking arms under the terrorist groups.
"I have been in armed engagements four times, and these are my war scars. I was almost killed because of their [NPA] political propaganda.
We were really deceived just so we would join them."
NPA Lumad Child Warrior at 12 years old
Former Guerilla Platoon Leader
the corruption of IP youth leaders
IP youth who show promise in their schooling are promised scholarships and a brighter future, but are instead transferred to more advanced terrorist training camps to further their indoctrination.
Many are promoted to high-ranking cadres when they finish.
"They promised me a scholarship and I believed it. Little did I know that I would be forced to undergo training where I learned to fight government forces.
The scholarship was all a lie."
Promised a scholarship and free tuition upon graduating from the CTG schools, the students are instead moved to CTG funded schools for further indoctrination.
Before the students can secure a diploma, they are required to provide the CTG with "return service" - up to 5 years teaching in Salugpungan schools to spread the CTG's ideals - something many scholars are not aware of until their graduation day.
Upon being transferred to the various CTG schools, the former students are given the task of indoctrinating IP/CC youth as agents now of the CTG.
The teachers are also tasked with trafficking IP/CC children to rallies in Manila, under the guise of programs such as Manilakbayan.
Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. or MISFI for short has played a major role in running Salugpungan schools in Mindanao up until very recently.
Learn more here.
Bae Lahong Chiary Balihan
Ata Manobo Tribe
Former Salugpungan school student
Geliejorain Ngojo, a former MISFI scholar turned UCCP Haran teacher, recounts his experience in the schools and reveals the true nature of these "unaffiliated" organizations.
Courtesy: Eagle Eyes
A documentary released in April 2021 by John Paul Seniel depicts life in the front school organizations and unviels their true motives.
the establishment of false governing bodies
In far flung areas inhabited by IPs, the CTG establishes
guerilla governments, masquerading as the government and governing IP communities as they see fit.
Through their hoax judiciary bodies such as the Organs of Political Power (OPP) and the Revolutionary Justice System, the CTG has created Kangaroo Court systems in which defendants (mostly IPs) have already been deemed guilty before precedings have even begun.
It is under the pretense of biased justice systems such as these that mass killings are carried out, from the 1985 Kampanyang Ahos (1,230 murdered), up until today, where NPA members are made to torture and in many instances, kill their own brethren.
Video taken from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines' (NDFP), depicting life among the ranks of the NPA and under the OPP. Despite its peaceful guise, its true nature is apparent. IP militants, Communist imagery, guns in the hands of youth, children reenacting war scenes, paint a darker picture than the calming music may suggest.
"Even if you go [to OPP court], the decision was already done. It was just some sort of formality. They really experienced torture. They were beaten and stabbed. Guns were rare [to use]. They said 'Don't waste bullets', so they just stabbed them."
Former Member, NPA Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda
Former Labor Organizer Souther Mindanao Regional Party Committee Member
the perversion of indigenous languages
Through asserting their own meaning onto the indigenous language, the CTG has managed to subvert IP/CC culture and constantly shift the narrative to aid in recruitment.
To the IP/CC, Bagani was a title reserved only for the strongest warriors of the tribes. A symbol of protection and cultural pillar, the Bagani are IP/CC members who have proven their nobility and prowess in combat.
These days, the NPA has creates Pulang Bagani units, or Bagani units, which are IP/CC death squads. Most are sent on suicide missions in armed encounters with the AFP. They are told that this is the only way to rectify the injustices inflicted upon them by the government, even when it is at the hands of the CTG that they suffer the most.
Lumad was originally a Cebuano term that meant "native".
However, during the 1986 First Congress of the Lumad Mindanao People's Federation (LMPF) - a well-known front of the CTG, the term was adopted to refer to all IP/CCs, regardless of their tribal identity.
Because of the propagation of this term, the IP/CCs of the Philippines have been clustered under a single blanket nomenclature, even in instances where they share no similar cultural or geographic traits.
Because of the cultural significance of the title and the seditious propaganda sown among the IP/CC by the CTG, the rogue Pulang Bagani members lay down their lives for what they believe to be a righteous cause.
This allows for the IP/CCs to be easily manipulated, as referring to them as a single entity allows for inaccurate generalizations and misrepresentation of IP/CC tribes. It also propagates ignorance on who the IP/CCs of the country really are.
On 2 March 2021, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples issued a formal resolution, denouncing the term and calling for its abolition, demanding that IP/CCs be referenced by their authentic ethnolinguistic names.
Originally a word that signifying the protection of ancestral domain, the term Salugpungan has been exploited to refer to training schools for child warriors and people's organizations and NGO's led by non-IP/CC members for the purpose of raising funds for the terrorist movement.
A word signifying a sacred place or paradise, now reappropriated to refer to NPA encampment areas, headquarters, and national operational command.
"With sensitivity and respect for the relationship between language and identity, we should be vigilant and condemn actions by any party that corrupt the meanings behind indigenous terms for unscrupulous ends."
Secretary Allen Capuyan
National Commission on Indigenous People's Head
the deprivation of IP rights
Under the CTG's pantomime government systems, the IP/CCs are subject to unconstitutional and inhuman conditions.
From senseless killings to sexual abuse and rape, IP/CC tribes under NPA rule are often subject to subhuman living conditions and treatment. IP/CC members who go through their Kangaroo Court systems have it much worse. Imprisoned by their own kin, they are kept in subhuman conditions and often are tortured to confessing crimes they did not commit before facing worse punishment.
Right to Suffrage
Right to Ancestral Land
Through implementing Permit-to-Win and Permit-to Campaign systems which only allow paying political candidates to campaign in or in some instances win the vote of IP/CC tribes in NPA controlled territory, the CTG deprives the IP/CCs of their right to practice democratic voting. Instead, only politicians who comply with the terrorists are supported, perpetuating an injust system in provinces with NPA presence.
In invading and subjugating IP/CC land, the NPA not only has stolen vast quantities of ancestral land from tribes, but has also made attempts at perpetuating their hold on these lands, as a consistent demand in their past peace talks with the government has been the distribution of ancestral domain to the "general public". To take ancestral lands from the IP/CC is to rob them of their cultural heritage. The government has consistently opposed this.
Weng Libre, a former cadre, recounts the murder of his parents at the hands of the terrorists, who were at the time, their cadres.
Questioning what he was really fighting for at the the time, former party member Gil Navarro describes the horrors he witnessed and his brush with death in the encampments as a cadre that eroded his resolve.
Sample Permits To Campaign, showing permits at different government levels: Governor, Mayor, SP Member, Kagawad.
Courtesy: UNTV Radio
At the beginning of 2015, members of the Matigsalug tribe in rural Bukidnon received an invitation from the NPA to send 20 IP/CC members to the rebel encampment to receive free food and equipment.
Instead, the 23 Matigsalug tribe members who arrived forced to work for the NPA, unable to return to their homes. Meanwhile, their families were left with no means to contact them, receiving only cups of rice in compensation.
This is the story of Tata, who lost her husband to UCCP Haran, a front of the CTG that facilitated this abduction.
the manipulation of IPs to further the Communist Agenda
Through their front programs such as Manilakbayan and Bakwit, the CTG parades IP/CC members in different places around the country to promote anti-administrative sentiments and win the public favor in their movement.
Manilakbayan marches across the years. The placards change, but the theme remains the same. Proclamation of government abuse and neglect, chants and fierce calls for resignation regardless of the administration.
the theft and misuse of international funding for IP/CC
International funding is a major source of financial support for the terrorist group. Under the guise of their front organizations, they are able to solicit millions annually to further fund the manipulation of the IP/CCs and other acts of terrorism.
Courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office
Having been declared a terrorist group by the EU and US, the CTG fronts secure their funding by masquerading as unaffiliated NGOs.
"Wittingly or unwittingly these foreign funding agencies have given their support. At the minimum, 60% of the funding does not go to the communist schools but siphoned off for their armed uprising."
Norberto M. Navarro
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commission
the destruction and sabotage of government services
In an attempt to halt services to the IP/CC tribes, the CTG has consistently destroyed construction equipment, agriculture equipment, and even roads in order to stifle the services that the government provides to the IP/CC tribes.
Should these services reach the IP/CC, the support for the terrorist group will inevitably die out, and thus it is of incredible importance to the CTG that government services be prevented from reaching the tribes.
The burning of heavy equipment of a private company in Sitio Baklayon, Brgy Pintatagan, Banay-banay, Davao Oriental early morning of January 4, 2018
the sexual exploitation of IP youth
"Most painful part for me in the Salugpungan school, my classmates were sent to become full-time warriors in the NPA while my cousin and I were left and being abused by our teachers who are also commanders of the armed group.
I was raped by one of the commanders at the age of 14. It is the most painful experience to me. Sometimes I lose my mind thinking that I have already lost my future because of my awful past."
Datu Langilan Asenad Bago
Matigtalomo Manobo Tribe