By TEDDY CASIÑO
BAYAN MUNA REPRESENTATIVE
April 24, 2012
I extend my warmest greetings to our brothers and sisters in the Cordillera provinces of Apayao, Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Baguio City celebrating indigenous peoples struggles for land, life and rights for this year’s Cordillera Day2012!
Your 28th Cordillera Day continues to reverberate each and every action in defense of your ancestral domains, your cultural integrity and way of life against the current government’s brand of development that brings wanton havoc and irreversible destruction.
My party Bayan Muna and the Makabayan Coalition side firmly with the indigenous peoples, mine workers, small-scale miners and their families, in the continuing resistance to large-scale, foreign led mining incursions into the Cordillera and the rest of the country.
I have been witness to the widespread opposition to large-scale mining in the Cordillera region and how the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) local and national politicians and state security forces manipulate, coerce and bribe the people to favor mining firms and the government’s twisted development agenda. As a peoples representative in Congress, we have brought the struggles against large-scale destructive mining to the halls of Congress in order to heighten our unity and sustain militancy in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
We shall continue to work hand-in-hand for the rights, welfare and advancement of the indigenous people and for the conservation of our remaining forests, minerals and farmlands in the Cordillera and the country. We also firmly support the Baguio City people’s opposition to the immoral, insatiable and corrupt intent of SM to cut 182 trees for its greedy expansion program that is supported by the national and local governments.
I congratulate you for all the victories and at the same time pay the highest tribute to all those who gave their lives for the Cordilleraand Filipino peoples’ struggle.
We want to conserve our finite natural resources and utilize these for the needs of the Filipino people and nation. We shall continue that and employ more efforts from the ancestral lands, to the cities to Congress, and hopefully, with our continued cooperation and help, to the Senate.
We will continue to defend, assert and advance our human rights and your self-determination as a people via genuine Cordilleraregional autonomy within the context of a sovereign and democratic Philippines in the forseeable future.
Mabuhay ang mamamayan ng Cordillera!
Mabuhay ang Cordillera Peoples Alliance!
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino! # nordis.net