Greenpeace Philippines statement on the Lumad killings

The current development paradigm of economic growth at all cost has placed people and the environment as unavoidable collateral damage. The recent rise of violence against indigenous peoples in Mindanao serves to remind us why we should put forward development plans that look after both the well-being of the people and the environment.

Greenpeace Philippines condemns all forms of violence and social inequality. We stand with the Lumads in their cry for justice and call for an investigation to hold parties and institutions accountable for the senseless killings.

Photo by AC Dimatatac
On October 26, the 1,500-kilometer protest caravan led by over 700 Lumad culminates with their arrival in Manila to resist the abuses they face, and demand their right to life, land, and justice from the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. Photo by AC Dimatatac

It is most unfortunate that corporate power wields a heavy influence on the government. Tragically, Lumad communities are caught in a crossfire between big corporations and warring armed groups both fighting for precious resources.
As companies and big businesses race to extract resources and raw materials to manufacture consumer products, companies are laying claim on lands, while disregarding the people who are the original inhabitants of the lands.
Unsustainable development undermines the rights of the people and the health of our environment.
In the Philippines, asserting people’s constitutional rights to a healthful and balanced ecology–clean air, clean water, safe food, abundant fishing grounds and clean energy–has become increasingly dangerous.
The killings are indiscriminate and cuts across sectors, borders, religion, belief and ethnicity. Doc Gerry Ortega, a journalist and prominent civic leader, Leonard Co, a known botanist, and Gerlie Menchie Alpajora, a fisherfolk leader from Bicol–all have been killed while in the frontlines of environmental protection. The list grows longer everyday.
Many have offered their lives for a green and peaceful future. Some are nameless but their memory and the cause that they stood for will not be forgotten.

Violence and impunity against the people and the environment must end. In solidarity, Greenpeace demands justice for the Lumads.