Press Release
November 6, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1169:
Sen. Leila on the Apayao Dam Projects

My office is currently looking into the issue surrounding the proposed hydroelectric plant projects in Apayao. As with any projects involving ancestral domains of our indigenous peoples, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is of paramount importance.

The Isnags represent the IP group that stands the most to lose in these projects. They inhabit the proposed project location and this project will dispossess them of their source of food, water, livelihood, and culture. The projects will submerge their communities and uproot them from the only place they have called home.

It is understandable that they be given the widest possible latitude in voicing out their objections and concerns.

However, we received reports that they were not being heard and that their consent was allegedly secured through persons whom they claim do not represent them. To complicate the matters, their leaders are being intimidated and red-tagged for voicing out their rights and concerns.

Progress and development are important for our country's competitiveness. However, they must not come at the price of human rights violations and absolute disregard for the welfare of our indigenous peoples.

I call on the administration to cease the violence and abuse and heed the concerns of our Isnag brethren. Stop the violence, protect our people.

Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 1169, here:

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