The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) stands with Piya Macliing Malayao at these times that she is subjected to character assassination being done by cyber operatives also known as trolls. We want to tell the world who is Piya and what she stands for.

Who is Piya?

Piya is a proud Bontok and Kalinga. She comes from a family and community that has a rich history of resistance and working for the welfare and common good for all. Piya is the granddaughter of Mother Petra Macliing, a Cordillera icon for indigenous woman activist, who played a crucial role in the resistance against the World Bank-funded Chico River Dam during the dark years of Martial Law. Mother Petra was among the founding members of the CPA and even up today, she is a member of the Advisory Council of CPA.

Piya’s late mother, Jean Macliing, was also a long time development worker. As a graduate of Business Administration, the late Jean opted to help and put up non-government and peoples organizations. Even to her last breath, Jean dedicated her life in serving the oppressed people.

Piya graduated Anthropology as Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman. During her college days, she was a student leader and activist and became part of progressive organizations like Anakbayan, and STAND UP. She also served the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy and Student Council as the Department of Anthropology Representative.

Immediately after graduating college, Piya became a full time volunteer of the KATRIBU Kalipunan ng mga Mamamayang Katutubo sa Pilipinas, an alliance of indigenous people’s organizations in the Philippines formerly known as KAMP. She became KATRIBU’s spokesperson and currently, the Secretary General.

Piya is also the regional coordinator for East Asia and the Pacific of Land is Life, a global coalition of organizations, communities, and activists who are all working together to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. She was also part of the Land is Life contingent who attended and presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this year. She has actively attended different international events, bringing the issues and demands of indigenous peoples from her country.

Piya is our kin and we are proud of her. Her being a champion of the rights and welfare of national minorities is not a crime.

We challenge those who are trying to malign her and all the national minorities who staged a picket at the US Embassy last October 19 to look deeper into the issue, and instead support the national minorities’ struggle for self-determination, human rights, and genuine freedom and democracy for our nation. ***