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Latest News from MPI

A Demand for Justice for the Killing of Datu Sandigan

On Saturday, September 13, 2014, Higaunon Tribal Leader Datu Sandigan (Fausto Orasan), a staunch anti-mining advocate and campaigner against deforestation, was shot and killed in the hinterlands of Cagayan de Oro City by yet unknown assailants. While the exact motive of the crime has yet to be established, it is believed that it is related to his positions on mining and the environment.

The following Saturday, August 20, members of the Project Management Committee of MPI's Resource-Based Conflict and Peacebuilding Training Program, Phase II, wrote the document below demanding justice for the killing of Datu Sandigan.

"Dying now or dying tomorrow is the same death. What should make a difference is what we are doing when we are still living."

The above is among the most-remembered statements of Datu Sandigan Fausto Orasan, often recalled by fellow tribal leaders of the Higaunon tribe and his response to the warning by his wife.

He was proven both right and wrong when his life was taken away by assassins' bullets in the afternoon of Saturday, 13th of September, 2014 in Barangay Tuburan in the hinterlands of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines on his way home to Barangay Pigsag-an, a hinterland barangay in the city populated by Higaunons, the indigenous people who originally inhabited the City but now living in the hinterlands.

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MPI Profiled in New Routes Magazine

In 2013, the story of MPI was told in New Routes a magazine published by the Life &Peace Institute. Gabrielle Aziza Sagaral wrote the article, which weaves the recent Bangsamoro Peace Process with the history of MPI. While written in 2013, it is very relevant today. We encourage you to download the issue and read the article Conflict transformation training making a difference in Asian communities.

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MPI Listed as a "key summer training program"

PCDN LogoWe were proud to learn that MPI was listed as one of the key summer training programs on the Peace and Collaborative Development Network website. See the posting here.

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Wisdom Weaving: Defending Ancestral Domains Through Integrating Indigenous People’s Practices with Philippine Laws

{videobox}89924938|Memories of Mountains, Memories of Gold||display=box, t_width=360, t_height=210, style="float: right; margin-left: 5px;"{/videobox}For too long, the traditional decision-making practices of the Indigenous People (IP) have come into direct conflict with the governing laws of the Philippines, especially when it comes to determining their rights with respect to and the use of their lands. Despite much talk of having control over their Ancestral Domain, mining companies and other extractive industries and agribusiness used existing laws to encroach upon and exploit the lands and resources of the Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines, often leading to violent confrontation.

On February 28, 2014, tribal leaders, advocates, government officials and friends from Northwestern Mindanao, Philippines, celebrated a sign of hope upon completing  a two-year Resource-Based Conflict and Peacebuilding Training Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Incorporated (MPI) conducted in partnership with Ecosystems Works for Essential Benefits, Inc. (EcoWEB) and Pikhumpongan Dlibon Subanen, Inc. (PDSI). Fifty tribal leaders and advocates, including 26 Subanen and 23 Higaonon men and women leaders gathered together for a graduation ceremony of this two-year program (watch a video of the MPI, EcoWeb, PDSI Training Program above). The Subanen leaders who completed the program came from the Ancestral Domains in Bayog, Kumalarang and Lakewood in Zamboanga del Sur and Sindangan in Zamboanga del Norte.  The Higaonon leaders were from the Ancestral Domains of Bayug Iligan in Lanao del Norte and Dulangan in Misamis Oriental (click here to see a map).

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On the Passing of Tata Madiba



Statement of MPI on the Passing of Nelson Mandela
10 December 2013

Last Saturday evening, President Jacob Zuma called upon all South Africans to pray, reflect and celebrate the life of their beloved Nelson Mandela, who passed away at the age of 95 on 5 December 2013. The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) echoes this call and asks its friends, colleagues, supporters, alumni, and networks to take some time this week to pray and reflect upon the life of this extraordinary man. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, affectionately called Tata Madiba, truly was a peace builder since he transcended hatred and anger and sought reconciliation among all the people of South Africa in order to build a new society founded on love and forgiveness. Nelson Mandela is a model for all of us to follow who seek a world where justice and peace will prevail. Let us stand in solidarity with the people of South Africa and the rest of the world who now pay tribute to this gentleman who was a "light in the darkness," as one parish priest in Soweto described Nelson Mandela, and celebrate his life by deepening our commitment to build a just and peace-filled society within our families, communities, and nations.


Christine Vertucci
MPI Director 

The following websites can serve as a resource for more information and for preparing a prayer service or ritual:

The Nelson Mandela Foundation: You may leave a message of condolence and tribute here. You may also read about the call to unite in prayer.

Mail and Guardian Tribute Site to Nelson Mandela:

A video tribute poem by Maya Angelou:

Find a song that pays tribute to Nelson Mandela:

Find out the meaning of Nelson Mandela's names:

Special coverage of Nelson Mandela on Democracy Now!:

A video of the life of Nelson Mandela from the New York Times.

United Nations Video on Nelson Mandela's Life Story:

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