Indigenous behind bars

The following statistics are based on Karapatan’s records of indigenous political prisoners (IPPs) currently held in Philippine prisons.

1. There are currently 24 political prisoners of indigenous descent. Of these, majority (14) are Lumad. There are 4 from the Cordilleras, 3 Dumagat and 3 Aggay indigenous rights activists also in prison. There are no IPPs from the Visayas indigenous groups.

2. There are 2 female IPPs, 22 males. There is currently no data for LGBTQ IPPs.

3. 8 of the IPPs are currently single while 15 are married. 1 IPP is of undetermined marital status.

_mg_27384. Overwhelming majority of IPPs (20) were arrested during the time of Benigno Aquino (2010-2016). The rest (4) were arrested between the years 2000 and 2009.

5. 12 of the IPPs are currently detained in Mindanao, while 2 are in the National Capital Region and the rest (10) in different prisons in Luzon. There are no IPPs detained in the Visayas area.

6. 7 IPPs are sickly. The sicknesses range from asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, mental depression and dementia. The majority (17) are in relatively healthy condition.

7. Karapatan considers all cases filed against these indigenous rights activists as trumped up and politically-motivated.

Data culled from files of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Right

Photos by Mark Ambay III/IPMSDL