Statement by the Lumad Husay Mindanao (LHM) on its 3rd Conference held in Davao City

We, members of the indigenous peoples (IP) network Lumad Husay Mindanao (LHM), issue this public statement as we have just concluded our successful 3rd Conference held in Davao City from August 17-18.

Today, we assert our inalienable and inherent rights to identity, land, self-governance and self-determination and call the Philippine government and its agencies to implement the law and continuously work towards the promotion, protection and fulfillment of indigenous people’s rights as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

LHM is a convergence platform composed of three IP networks in Mindanao: Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation (LMPF), Katawhang Lumad of Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (KL-MPPM), and the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Peace Forum (MIPPF).

“Husay” is a local term related to the “process of community mediation and conflict resolution” in Lumad and other communities in Mindanao. ‘Husay’ is guided by indigenous justice system that paves the way towards a more sustainable peace.

In particular, LHM calls on the Philippine government, local government units and related agencies to address the following calls and demands: 

Assertion of IPs Bundles of Rights under IPRA

LHM also asserts that the process of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPICs) in the conduct of projects being implemented within the jurisdiction of IP territories must be consistently followed. IPs must also be allowed to engage in negotiations and dialogue especially that concerns the design, monitoring and implementation of projects in our territories.

We believe that to protect the IPs and our future, we must uphold the core principles of IPRA recognizing our inherent rights to ancestral domains, self-governance, and empowerment; social justice and human rights, and cultural integrity. 

We call on the Department of Interior and Local Government to issue a memorandum that would serve as binding guidelines for local government units to observe, respect and recognize the rights of the IPs.

We also demand to investigate local political elites who have underhandedly bought lands covered by our ancestral domains. DILG must also mandate the LGUs to allocate sufficient budget for the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representation (IPMR) to conduct all operations of the office and to ensure representation of IPs in all policy making bodies.

Junk JAO No.1!

LHM calls on the junking of the Joint DAR-DENR-LRA-NCIP Administrative Order No. 1 (JAO NO.1) and release the pending CADT and CALT titles in possession of the NCIP.

We are calling to junk JAO NO.1 because since 2012, this guideline seemed useless to resolve the issue of the overlapping tenurial claims of the ancestral domains. This Administrative Order cannot supersede a legislated law like RA 8371.

End to Red-tagging, Killings of Lumad leaders and Continued Displacement of Lumad Communities

LHM calls for an independent investigation on reported and documented killings of Lumad leaders, community members and human rights defenders, allegedly by both state and non-state actors particularly in the key areas of Region 12.

As we collectively call for justice for the victims of killings, we support any congressional inquiry on the Lumad killings on BARMM as well as in areas of Maguindanao. Towards this, we also demand for a halt to ‘red-tagging’ of IP leaders as these further breeds a culture of impunity and puts our community in grave peril.  

Continuous armed-conflict happening in IP territories

For long years, Indigenous peoples have been victims of armed conflict we never wished to be a part of. This conflict has had dismal impacts on our communities as the involved armed groups use our territories as battlegrounds.

Decades of conflict have taken its toll on our communities, but we remain steadfast in asserting our rights. For the IPs, we can actually help in resolving the conflicts but it must be in accordance with our customary laws, own beliefs, systems and traditions such as Husay. It is time for the Lumad to retake what is inherently and rightfully theirs. LHM will be in the forefront of this righteous struggle to make this aspiration come to pass. ###