Partner Organizations & Principles

General Information on the Cooperation with Partner Organizations

IPON and its partner organizations are mutually independent concerning both finance and strategy. That is, IPON does not provide any funding, and never engages in the program of the local parners. IPON does not judge, or lobby for any land policies, and does not interfere in the legislative process of the Philippine State in general. IPON is exclusively concerned with human rights matters and only acts after an official mandate with the local HRD is concluded. This mandate is the foundation of any cooperation with partner organizations and has to be renewed yearly.  In accordance with this mandate, IPON works using the instruments Presence and Escort, Observation, and Informing and Acting (for more detailed information on the instruments, check the corresponding page in this blog). Regarding the cooperation with partner organizations, IPON follows three principles:

Non- intervention

IPON is non intervening in the partner organisation’s work and objectives. IPON is not an advocacy group of the accompanied groups, but IPON advocates their human rights.


IPON is a non violent organisation. Therefore, we only promote and support groups who decided for a peaceful approach in their struggle.

Work upon request

Every group which considers its human rights abused and violated can request IPON. After a thorough investigation of the group and the background, IPON decides according to its principles whether a mandate can be negotiated.

Partner Organization in Mindanao

IPON opened its third office in the Philippines in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. There, a partnership with the Indigenous Peoples Organization „Panalsalan Dagumbaan Tribal Association“ (PADATA) was established. PADATA was founded in 2004 to fight for their legal land rights. They currently apply for a Certificate of Ancestral Domein Title for their land, which is advocated in the Indigenous People’s Rights Act of 1997. They also apply for a Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) title. The mandate with PADATA was first signed in January 2012. It was renewed in 2013 and in 2014 changed into a Phase-Out Mandate because of the improvement of the situation for PADATA.

The other partnership was established with human rights defender (HRD) Temogen Cocoy Tulawie in 2013 in Davao. The mandate was signed in August 2013. For decades, Cocoy Tulawie promoted peaceful human rights (HR) work in his home region, the province of Sulu. He is facing charges of “multiple frustrated murder” and “attempted murder”, which is believed to be a fabricated case in order to muzzle the outspoken HRD. IPON observes his trial that is set in Manila.

Partner Organization in Negros

The mandated Partner Organization in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental is TFM (Task Force Mapalad), a non-governmental organization (NGO), which is working for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the Philippines, and for rural development in general. TFM is active in 9 provinces in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, and is composed of an estimate of 25,000 members.

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