The women and men of CDPC join the Indigenous Peoples’ worldwide in commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples  this 9th of August  2023.  In commemorating, we share the modest achievements of our Indigenous farmers and poorest sectors of Cordillera society in their own effort of building their self-determined development.  In the highland Cordillera rice terraces, Indigenous farmers are improving their traditional agro-ecological production  system through collective program of improving rice varieties, production and use of bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide, supported with rehabilitation of communal irrigation systems with high density polyethylene pipes and watershed protection advocacy program.

Through CDPC’s health program co-implemented by the Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region (CHESTCORE),  we have provided medical services to at least 1,600 patients while we continue to develop the knowledge and skills of our community health volunteers and medical student interns on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices on herbal medicine.

CDPC’s partners in the urban Baguio City are actively participating in the Local Government’s initiative in making Baguio City a Human Rights City.

With these backdrop of modest achievements,  on the one hand, CDPC deplores the unraveling of this new scheme of crippling freedom of expression and association.  We are witnessing the cruelty of the Anti Terrorism Act and the use of terrorist designation by government authorities against the leaders of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance.  The terrorist designation has rendered these Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders as “no humans.”  They are forcibly placed in a conundrum of trying to  live as  “designated terrorists,” stripped off their bank accounts and properties and livelihood and their selfless services in asserting and defending Indigenous Peoples rights.

In the spirit of righteousness and justice,   we women and men of CDPC support  the call for the repeal  of the Anti Terrorism Act.  We further support the call for the delisting of the 4 leaders of CPA as designated terrorists.