By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
4 December 2010
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, have the honor to welcome and applaud the ritual of pledge Sapa 2010 and express our most hearfelt greetings of solidarity to all the participating tribal leaders and representatives of people’s organizations of different Lumad communities in the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur
We salute you for having long struggled resolutely and militantly in defense of your right to self-determination and to your ancestral lands and for renewing your vow to protect these lands from plunder by logging, mining, ranching and plantation companies owned by foreigners and big comprador-landlords and backed by the high bureaucrats and military forces of the reactionary government.
We have the highest respect for your blood compact, solemnly reaffirming your vow to commit your lives to the resistance against plunder and oppression. Such meaningful ceremony strengthens your bonds of unity and fighting spirit on the basis of your common experience of suffering and struggle.
We join you in honoring the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives against the brutal attacks systematically conducted by the military
under the pretext of counterinsurgency and in the name of development. We emulate the heroic examples of all the Lumads and their leaders in fighting every scheme of the imperialists and the local reactionaries to violate the right to self-determination and grab the ancestral lands.
We take this opportunity to greet all the observers that you have invited to witness the blood compact. We are glad that they have come to Bukidnon to observe the cultural traditions, productive life, the situation of women and the most recent threats to the Lumads posed by further plunder operations, including an ill-conceived mega dam.
It is important for other people to understand how the foreign and local oppressors and exploiters have turned Mindanao from a so-called land of promise to a land of conflict and war. Your just cause deserves all possible support from all the people in the Philippines and in other countries.
We invite your communities and organizations to send delegates to the Fourth International Assembly of the ILPS to be held in Manila in July next year in order to present your situation and struggle and discuss with other delegations the possibilities of mutual support and cooperation. Thank you. ###