The people remember Ama Macliing as defender of ancestral land Militarization last March leads to mining in Kalinga


All those bombs and all those troops couldn’t have been for nothing. The true intentions behind the indiscriminate bombing last March and the heavy troop deployment in the province of Kalinga is actually just another expression of the government’s disregard for the national minorities, this time for their inalienable right to self-determination. The attacks against the civilian population are in direct relation to the mainstream news reports of Makilala Mining Co., Inc. celebrating its plans to start constructing next year its copper-gold mines project of Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog. The Philippine subsidiary of CELSIUS Resources intends to launch operations by 2026.

Truly, counterinsurgency or anti-terrorism is never just about fighting opposition forces. For the national minority, it is almost always about plunder of their ancestral territories in the name of whatever evil the fascist state has conjured to meet its own greedy objectives. The latest spate of militarization in Kalinga plus the recent news about impending mining activities in Kalinga prove this point.

The national minorities are thus doubly victimized. Firstly, by the extensive violence they experience in the hands of the mercenary army. Then, by the permanent economic and socio-political effects of mining in their communities. Government projects within ancestral lands are already steeped in the blood of the national minorities who sacrificed life and limb before such projects could even break ground in the indigenous lands. And indigenous blood will continue to flow as long as destructive projects threaten the minorities with ethnocide in the name of supposed `development’ or `progress.’

The real-life legend of the 80s that is Ama Macliing Dulag caused for governments to take better care and thought whenever they have a mind to shove down more `development projects’ down the throats of the minorities. Before he was killed by state agents, Ama Macliing refused every bribe and dismissed every threat against him just so he could continue leading the people’s struggle against the senior Marcos’ Chico Dam project. For generations of i-Kalinga and the rest of the Cordillera, his revolutionary martyrdom is such a symbol of resistance that even regimes had to think of creative ways to sell neoliberal projects to the people of Cordillera. When they use the terms `renewable energy source’ to describe dams and dikes or `pro-people mining’ in the vain effort to blur the truth about large-scale capitalist mining, it is because they know about the valiant resistance of that period.

Such resistance is bound to be replicated. Ama Macliing Dulag’s fame was never meant to be an impotent lesson to be remembered only when convenient. The lesson of the people’s uprising lives on in continuing and elevating the tradition of Cordillera resistance. This is evident from the forefathers who fought against Spanish incursions until the present times when modern day indigenous heroes and advocates brave the blatant fascism of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the rule of the tyrant’s son. The armed revolution, proudly national democratic to its very core, is an integral part of the Cordillera people’s lives as long as there is a threat against their very existence.

Oppose militarization in the ancestral territories! Hold accountable fascist dogs of the Marcos II regime!

Oppose large-scale mining and other destructive projects in ancestral domains!

Defend indigenous people’s rights! Join the New People’s Army!

Militarization last March leads to mining in Kalinga