On the 40th Peoples Cordillera Day

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Cordillera Day, which commemorates the assassination of Macli-ing Dulag by the Marcos Sr. regime in 1980. 

Macli-ing Dulag was a tribal leader from the Kalinga province who led the struggle against the Chico River Dam Project. Funded by the World Bank, this project threatened the ancestral lands, livelihoods, and right to self-determination of the Cordillera people.

In order to suppress opposition, areas affected by the dam project were militarized, a reality that many Indigenous communities across the Philippines are terrorized with to this day. 

Nonetheless, state terror could not deter the strength and resistance of the mass movement of Indigenous people. After the death of Macli-ing Dulag, the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) was formed in 1984. The CPA officially established Cordillera Day in 1985 to signify the expanding unity and solidarity amongst the various Indigenous groups in the Cordillera region and broadening support garnered for the cause of the Cordillera people. 

As CPSO prepares to send a contingent of human rights activists to @ichrpcanada’s national conference in Montreal, our members are mobilizing in solidarity with Indigenous communities impacted by foreign corporations and extractive industries in the Philippines. In line with the national conference’s theme of “Resist State Terror: Stand for People’s Rights in the Philippines,” CPSO affirms the role and work of the Cordillera people in their fight towards national democracy and freedom. 

We join the CPA in solidarity with and celebration of their steadfast efforts rooted in the interests of the people! CPSO maintains that the fight towards a just and lasting peace in the Philippines goes hand in hand with the defense of land, life, and self-determination!

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