By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
QUEZON CITY — The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has conferred its first Gabriela Silang Awards to international activist Victoria Tauli – Corpuz, Thursday on the Commission’s celebration of the International Women’s month.
The awards was named after Philippine national hero Gabriela Silang believed to be of Tinggian descent who after the martyrdom of her husband took over the command of anti-colonial revolutionaries her husband led against the Spanish conquistadors.
“Secretary Eugenio A. Insigne, chair of the NCIP, said in a phone interview that the awards was the contribution of the Commission to celebrate and honor women at the forefront of the struggle for indigenous peoples rights. The recognition of living heroines who continue to passionately fight for the recognition of the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and the right to self determination.”
Ms. Corpus, has for almost three decades been an activist for the advancement of women’s rights and indigenous peoples rights. She is presently the Chair of the United Nations’ Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples Issues and the executive director of locally based Tebtebba Foundation.
She is a native of Besao, Mt. Province in the Cordillera. She has also served as chair to the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance and Innabuyog – Gabriela Cordillera chapter. She and her family are residents of Baguio City.
Also, awarded from the rank and file of the NCIP, are five women officers recognized for their work and services to indigenous peoples communities. They are: Gladys Lasdacan of the Baguio City NCIP office; Myrna Caoagas head of the NCIP Ancestral Domains Office; Shirley B. Igulanan, Shirley Sario, Sherlene Sario, and Jennifer C. Gerones. # www.nordis.net