National minorities reject appointment of Ret. Col. Capuyan as NCIP chief

Photo by Leo Esclanda

Sinusumpa ng mga pambansang minorya ang pagkatalaga kay  Ret. Col. Allen Capuyan, ang NCIP at ang gubyerno ni Duterte! Wala yang gagawin para sa mga katutubo kundi dahasin ang mga komunidad para mapalayas kami sa mga lupang ninuno at dambungin  ng mga negosyo  yaman ng aming lupain.

We, national minorities under Sandugo Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination strongly denounce Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Retired Col. Capuyan as new chief of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Capuyan  headed  the National Secretariat of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF). He was also the Presidential Adviser for Indigenous Peoples’ Concerns in 2018. In 2008, he was the Commander of Task Force Gantangan, a special group formed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines specifically to set-up  Lumad paramilitary groups in Mindanao as part of the Gloria Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya. These paramilitary groups that include  the Alamara, Magahat-Bagani and other groups remain today and  are responsible for the murder  of many Lumad leaders opposed to the entry of mining companies and agro-corporations in the ancestral lands.

The appointment of Capuyan speaks loudly of the NTF to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that in fact targets the indigenous peoples organizations and leaders. These attacks against us with Capuyan at the helm of the NCIP will further intensify as if we are the enemies The appointment of another soldier in a civilian post shows that the Duterte government is mustering all its agencies against. This is the core of the “Whole of Nation Approach” in the government’s Oplan Kapayaan counter-insurgency program. These are instruments that Capuyan and Duterte’s other military minions will use hand in hand with direct military actions.

Capuyan played a major role in  the  reign of terror  in Mindanao. Now as head of the NCIP, he can legitimize further militarization and terrorize  IP communities nationwide.

Ginawa na niya iyan sa Mindanao. Binuo ang mga paramilitary groups para hatiin ang pagkakaisa ng mga Lumad at maghasik ng kaguluhan at dahas. Iyan din ang gustong gawin sa iba pang mga komunidad ng mga katutubo sa bansa.  

Capuyan’s appointment is very timely now that China funded projects are being railroaded in areas of the indigenous peoples communities. As NCIP chief, Ret. Col. Capuyan can easily coerce communities to approve  a fake free prior and informed consent (FPIC) for the construction of the Chico River Water Pump Project in Pinukpok, Kalinga and  the  Kaliwa Dam Project in General Nakar, Quezon and Tanay, Rizal. These projects are strongly opposed by the affected local residents and IP communities.

Capuyan may be Duterte’s perfect man for dirty jobs. But just like past counter-insurgency programs, it will fail. The NCIP has been long exposed as an anti-indigenous peoples agency. What Duterte and the AFP do not understand is that if the root causes of unrest continue to exist, there will always be a resistance. Our continued existence as indigenous peoples and Bangsamoro is proof of our determined resistance as a people. We will continue to resist attacks against us and the rest of the Filipino masses until genuine self-determination and development are achieved.

Reference: Aya Santos
Public Information Desk

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