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Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous People (SAGIP)

Davao City Philippines
May 2011

Grant Description

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.

Impact Report

Funds were used to secure the life of a threatened activist and her children while she remained in her community to carry out a justice and land rights campaign. The community implemented a series of activities in commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of the murder of the threatened activist’s husband, who was killed for opposing development of their ancestral lands. The Kahusayan community and other groups in the region participated in a march for land, life and rights. The funds were used to hire two unarmed security guards for 6 months, for mobile communications, to provide safe transportation for activities related to the campaign and to support the living expenses and safe house rental for the activist and her family. She was able to continue her activism and the community, especially the women, are more involved as a result of the campaign to defend the WHRD and their ancestral lands, “they believed that the campaign was not just a specific campaign to defend one individual or to defend their leader but it was a big campaign of defending their tribe, their rights and their life.”