Amidst an increasingly hostile environment for activists in the Philippines, threats against an indigenous woman activist escalated in 2011 in response to her work to protect the ancestral lands of her village of Kahusayan from further development. The activist’s husband was already targeted and murdered in 2008 for his opposition to proposed development projects. As the WHRD continued to attend press conferences and lobby to expose the injustice of recent development operations occurring in Kahusayan, a group of the Philippine military and local paramilitary kept her home and office under constant surveillance. In April of 2011 they kidnapped her child, interrogated him about his mother’s work, and threatened him that they would kill her if she did not cease her activism. In response to these threats, the Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous Peoples (SAGIP) requested funds to ensure the activist’s safety as she remained in the community to continue her work. The organization will hire unarmed security personnel and purchase more advanced security equipment for her use.
SAGIP is an advocacy body that promotes the ancestral land rights and welfare of indigenous people and initiates activities and campaigns aimed at raising the consciousness of the public on issues affecting the indigenous peoples.