Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) leaders and members appeal to the public for their wisdom and full discernment of the many disinformation and vilification posts that are circulating at Facebook. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, CPA and its leaders and members are experiencing intensified attacks especially through Facebook posts that attempt to discredit, malign, vilify, and tag the organization and individuals as communists and terrorists.
According to CPA Chairperson Windel Bolinget, “For the past 36 years, the CPA has built a credible track record of advancing indigenous people’s rights and self-determination, and promoting human rights, genuine peace, and fundamental rights of democratic sectors in the region. Through the years, it has grown wider and stronger and now has 307 member organizations. If the CPA did not live up to its purpose of promoting indigenous peoples’ rights and welfare, it would have long ceased to exist.”
The CPA also claims that the disinformation, red-tagging and vilification against CPA and its leaders are perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Sadanga Mayor Ganggangan, and their supporters.
“Over the past two weeks, Facebook posts of government officials, AFP and PNP accounts have viciously maligned the CPA, following a so-called ‘affidavit’ of Annie Tauli which stated that the CPA is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. However, the CPA is NOT in any way led by the CPP. Now, Annie Tauli is retracting her signature in the ‘affidavit’ that she was made to sign because it bore this accusation against the CPA, its Vice Chairperson Jill Carino and pioneer Joanna Carino, and other false information. This only shows how the AFP twists information in an attempt to discredit legitimate people’s organizations,” said Bolinget.
“The attacks are meant to silence us and to inculcate in the minds of the people that we are terrorists and evil people. Worse, our families are being included and are also experiencing harassment and receiving threats. We also have members who are already scared of speaking out on people’s issues for fear that the systematic red-tagging and vilification will also target them. Thus, the disinformation, red-tagging and vilification against CPA only endangers our lives and instill fear among civilians,” said Bolinget.
“For being critical of government laws and policies that go against people’s rights, for opposing large-scale mining, logging and large dams, and for campaigning against human rights violations, CPA has been tagged as communist and terrorist and has been politically vilified since the Martial Law years. But the organization has overcame all of these which is a testament of the justness of our cause,” added Bolinget.
“We appeal to the people to be critical of what you read, especially at Facebook. We also appeal to you to speak out against disinformation, red-tagging, terrorist-tagging, and vilification of the CPA and its members who have not committed any crime or wrongdoing against the people,” ended Bolinget.
Chairperson, Cordillera Peoples Alliance