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Republic of the Philippines

Saint Louis University

School of Law

In partial fulfillment of the subject Human

Rights Law

Submitted to:
Judge Glenda Ortiz-Soriano

Submitted by:
Eleasar B. Pido

Protecting the Rights of Indigenous people in the Philippines

The problem today about indigenous peoples they are being exploited
by unidentified group of society some says the military exploiting the IPs and
on the other side they say that the leftist group who are pro-NPA. This
problem is common to our IPs in Mindanao especially the so-called Lumads,
this is becoming worse because more and more lumads are being killed of
unidentified reasons. So this paper is made to trace the killings of our lumad
in the Philippines and to address concern government agencies.
The Philippines is a culturally diverse country with an estimated 14- 17
million Indigenous Peoples belonging to 110 ethno-linguistic groups. They are
mainly concentrated in Northern Luzon or in Cordillera Administrative
Region, thirty-three percent and Mindanao sixty-one percent, with some
groups in the Visayas area. The Philippine Constitution, in recognition of this
diversity and under the framework of national unity and development,
mandates state recognition, protection, promotion, and fulfillment of the
rights of Indigenous Peoples. Further, Republic Act 8371, also known as the
Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (1997, IPRA), recognized the right of IPs to
manage their ancestral domains; it has become the cornerstone of current
national policy on IPs.1
In southern Philippines, Lumad is a term being used to denote a group
of indigenous peoples. It is a Cebuano term meaning "native" or "indigenous".
The term is short for Katawhang Lumad (literally "indigenous peoples"), the
autonym officially adopted by the delegates of the Lumad Mindanaw Peoples
Federation (LMPF) founding assembly on 26 June 1986 at the Guadalupe
Formation Center, Balindog, Kidapawan, Cotabato, Philippines. It is the selfascription and collective identity of the non-Islamized indigenous peoples of
It is adopted by a group of 15 from a more than 18 Mindanao ethnic
groups in their Cotabato Congress in June 1986 to distinguish them from the
other Mindanaons, Moro or Christian. Its usage was accepted during the Cory
Administration when R.A. 6734, the word Lumad was used in Art. XIII sec.
8(2) to distinguish these ethnic communities from the Bangsa Moro.
At present, Mindanao Lumads account for 2.1 million out of the total 6.5
million indigenous people nationally. (1993 Census) these fifteen Lumads in
the Cotabato Congress were the following: Subanen, Blaan, Mandaya,


Higaonon, Banwaon, Talaandig, Ubo, Manobo, Tboli,

Bagobo,Tagakaolo, Dibabawon, Manguangan, and Mansaka.3


The killing of Lumads

As of September 4, 2015, AIPP strongly condemns the continued brutal
killings of Lumads in Mindanao of the Philippines at the hands of paramilitary
groups and security forces. At least 13 Lumad human rights defenders and
community members, including two children, have been killed in five
incidents of extrajudicial killings and four massacres in the past eight months,
with the recent killings of Emerito Samarca, Executive Director of a tribal
school, and two other Lumad leaders in Surigao del Sur on September 1. In the
aftermath of the killings, more than 4000 Lumads evacuated to a neighboring
village due to fear for their safety, and schools have been closed down. 4
Due to this continuous killing of lumads people may not stop to question
and blame the government, some says it is a failure of the Aquino
administration that it is indication of its failure to protect and respect the
inherent rights to life and dignity of its citizen and killings of innocent civilians
at the hands of paramilitary and security forces are gross violations of human
rights that demand immediate justice.
Reasons of killing Lumads
The reasons of lumad killing can be traced first, on their protest against
the mining activities5 and their campaign for the protections of their ancestral
lands and domains and their natural resources. The fact that their places are
rich in natural resources, capitalist and businessman are interested for the
exploration, development and utilization, and in order to conduct the
exploration, mining companies use military to obtain the free and prior
informed consent of the lumads, Of course the present of military in their
place makes lumads become afraid and their consent can be obtain easily
because of their fear of being killed or harass. After obtaining Consent and
permits for either mining or other exploration, they use again military in
order to enter the area and serves as security guards during the starts of the
operation until the area become peaceful and mind that operation takes long
time so also long time that military will stay at the place.
Now, the presence of the militarys in the place will become the reason
of the entry of NPA which they claim that they will help lumads to protect
Ulindang, F.
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
5 Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

their lands and domains but it only makes the situation worse because the
place of lumads become a battlefield of the two parties which lead to
accusation of lumads as NPA or as an agent of the military which also lead to
Human Rights violated
1. Article 3 of UDHR
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
2. Article 5 of UDHR
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading t
reatment or punishment.

Article 26 of UDHR
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least
in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall
be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made
generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to
all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further
the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall
be given to their children.

4. Article 1 of ICESCR
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right
they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their
economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural
wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of
international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of
mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be
deprived of its own means of subsistence.

3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having

responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust

Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of selfdetermination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
5. Article 13of ICESCR
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of
everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to
the full development of the human personality and the sense of its
dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable
all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote
understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial,
ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United
Nations for the maintenance of peace.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view
to achieving the full realization of this right:
(a) Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and
vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and
accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the
progressive introduction of free education;
(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis
of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the
progressive introduction of free education;
(d) Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as
possible for those persons who have not received or completed the
whole period of their primary education;
(e) The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively
pursued, an adequate fellowship system shall be established, and the
material conditions of teaching staff shall be continuously improved.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect
for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to
choose for their children schools, other than those established by the
public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational
standards as may be laid down or approved by the State and to ensure
the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with
their own convictions.
6. Indigenous Peoples Right Acts

CHAPTER III: Rights to Ancestral Domains, CHAPTER IV: Right to SelfGovernance and Empowerment, CHAPTER V: Social Justice and Human
Rights, and CHAPTER VI: Cultural Integrity
What course of action or remedy must be taken before Philippine Courts
and /or international tribunals?
1. Filing a petition for a writ of amparo, requesting the Supreme Court
to order the military and tribal militia from entering and having a
presence in Lumad territory.
2. Both the military and the New Peoples Army (NPA) must pull out of
their areas, all of which must be demilitarized and declared peace
zones. All economic activities by outsiders, including mining
operations, must be stopped and all applications frozen in those
areas so the conflict does not expand further. This should be done
immediately in the affected areas and if necessary through all Lumad
areas of Mindanao.
3. Redress may be sought.
4. To Compel the NCIP to ensure certifications of Free and Prior
Informed Consent have been correctly given and the proper
Certificates of Ancestral Domains have been issued.
5. To compel the DENR to make an inventory of natural resource and
mining permits and agreements and make sure they are not
exacerbating the situation.
6. To file a case of Ethnocide
Is Special rapporteur an appropriate remedy?
Yes. Because special rapporteur can address adequate housing, food,
education, minority issues, physical mental health, independence of judges
and lawyers, freedom of assembly and association, contemporary forms of
slavery, trafficking in persons, torture, human rights of migrants, sale of
children, child prostitution and child pornography, and extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions.
It was introduce in the Philippines in 2007 to 2008 at the countrys
invitation in order to conduct an investigation on the alleged summary
executions committed in Luzon and Davao.6

Petralba, P.

The special rapporteurs must research or investigate the cause and

effect of the situation, must search on who exploiting the lumads and who are
behind killing, make sure that the investigation or research must not be one
sided. It must search the side of the Philippine military and the side of the
communist or NPA. After the research must give a comprehensive picture of
the situation, visits the place of lumads, communicate reports, conduct followup activities, join actions of concerns agency, and develop international
standards and advocacy and report his work to the National Commissions on
Human Rights. The special rapporteurs must recommend actions to the
Philippine government on these issues.