Youth leaders in Kabugao, Apayao berated the National Commission of Indigenous People for its “brainwashing” effort to have the youth support the construction of the Gened 1 Mega Dam project within their hometown.
In a statement the Sangguiniang Kabataan Federation of Kabugao expresed their support to the Isnag people of Kabugao, Apayao in opposing the construction of the Gened I Dam by the Pan Pacific Renewable Power Philippine Coporation.
In a manifestation the SKF – Kabugao also admonished the NCIP speakers during a youth orientation the NCIP called at the KAIHS in said town last November 26.
Said orientation as supposed to educate the youth “relative to customary laws, practices, and traditions of the Isnag ICCs (Indigenous Cultural Communities)/IPs (Indigenous Peoples) on the role of the community elders/leaders in the decision process of the community vis-à-vis the role of the youth to respect the decision of the community elders/leaders.”
While the SKF-Kabugao noted the importance of participating in decision making, the November 26 activity “did not in any way meet the objectives stated in the invitation letter.”
The manifestation said that the activity instead was used “into a campaign and illicit mind conditioning on the Gened dam issues, blatantly brainwashing the participants to favorably submit to the project by muffling them despite the glaring violation of FPIC (free prior and informed consent) process which until today NCIP failed to address.”
The young leaders said the NCIP speakers “are not in any way qualified to talk to talk about IPRA, FPIC process, or even customary practices.”
They added to instead “have their genuine elders for our ili (town) if we are to discuss traditions and customs.
In conclusion, the group expressed their disappointment with the conduct of the activity and its results.
While the youth leaders expressed their opposition to the construction of Gened I and later the much bigger Gened II, they also re-echoed their opposition to the 2019 Community Resolutions which gave ‘authorization’ to a set of ‘elders and leaders’ “to sign and decide for our community.”
The SKF Kabugao added that they do “not recognize anything borne out of fraud and illegal acts.”
Last month, faculty members and staff of the Apayao Community Learning Center opposing the put up of the two dams.
Isnag leaders last October 23 also signed a community resolution declaring NCIP – Cordillera and recently resigned director Marlon Bosantog and FPIC leader Atanacio Addog as persona non grata and not welcome within their lands.