• IP group decries inclusion of 2 leaders in drug list

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    LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: Two local leaders of an indigenous people’s (IP) group, Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) in Ifugao, are reportedly on a drug watch list, sending fears that the report may lead to human rights abuses in grassroot communities.

    “We call on the immediate delisting and for a stop to the attacks on people’s organizations in the guise of the drug war,” Santos Mero, secretary general of the CPA, said.

    Mero added that in July, Ricardo Mayumi, chairman of the Huhlukan Indigenous Farmers Organizations in Binablayan, Tinoc in Ifugao, was shown a copy of an alleged letter from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Public Assistance and Information Office dated January 20, 2016 by Police 0fficer 3 Nestor Puguon of the Tinoc Municipal Police.

    The letter quoted an anonymous report dated January 16, 2016 on alleged drug- pushing activities at Kalanguya National High School in Wangwang, Tinoc.

    Mayumi said the CSC letter contained a quoted request from an anonymous source to the regional director of the Cordillera police to assist the local government of Tinoc in stopping a drug syndicate.

    Included in the list are Mayumi and Martin Waling, who is in his 80s but an active member of the Gumhang Farmers Development Association in Gumhang, also in Tinoc.

    The inclusion of Mayumi and Waling in the drug list, Mero claimed, stems from the local organizations of the two being vocal critics of the Ayala-backed Sant Clara Power Corporation-Quad River Power Corporation mini hydro projects in Tinoc.

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