Editorial: In an IP leaders summit


For decades now the national democratic (ND) movement in Mindanao doggedly pursued the campaign against development aggression and with the Lumads explained and raised with government that they do not want the government version of foreign investments, and brazen economic and military invasions into their ancestral domains with the sole purpose of taking away — by hook or by crook – their common resources and private homes and their communities.

In a recent government organized Indigenous People’s (IP) Leader’s Summit, the President graced the meeting where he promised a hundred million pesos to lift them from poverty, scholarships even to the expensive private and state universities, housing and many more but most he promised to personally select for them foreign investors for their ancestral domains.

Based on his promises and pronouncements, apparently government did not listen (or never listened) to the appeals, demands or aspirations of these indigenous people’s communities nor of the basic sectors of peasants, workers, women or children who also are indigenous peoples. Their appeals, demands or aspirations all boil down to the recognition and respect of their inherent rights as human beings, as Filipino citizens and their indigenous peoples’ rights to their ancestral lands and domains, and their right to self-determination.

The President made promises to these IP leaders in the summit like he did to the Philippine electorate some two years ago in the election campaign. Would they believe he would live up to deliver what he promises? Or is this his way of misleading the leaders to give up their peoples’ ancestral domains with the military prodding behind them to yield their common resources to the foreign investors personally selected by the national government leader?

There is no foreign investor in the country that is not here to gain the largest profits possible. There has also not been any company yet in the extractive industry that has preserved or conserved the biodiversity of the environment, the sustained natural sources of fresh water, and sustained supply of natural or organically grown food and forest produce. With this in mind

It has been proven that the domains of indigenous peoples are the last frontiers of natural forests and land resourses needed to sustain the country’s population and catapult its progress. Initiating ethnocidal wars against our indigenuos peoples to take away their ancestral lands is actually going to kill the larger source to sustain our local livelihood. Not all of the people can run away abroad to slave in some other country. Let us protect our patrimony, our common resources from the pillage of foreign investors, big feudal landlords, and bureaucrat capitalists who plunder and export our hard earned resources, our capital for the progress and support of our peoples, our country, our future as a nation.

It shall be no surprise if this summit was meant to intimdate the IP leaders, with promises of wealth, government services, schools, farms, houses; things and services that the IPs deserved from government but were deprived of by the bureaucracy and is now being dangled as favors from the leadership just to get hold of their ancestral domains for foreign investors. # nordis.net


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