“…the State shall institute and establish the necessary mechanisms to enforce and guarantee the realization of these rights, taking into consideration their customs, traditions, values, beliefs, their rights to their ancestral domains.”
This is what is stated on the Law with regard to the provisions of the Indigengous Peoples rights Act or RA 1873.
The peoples of Lacub and Bakun for years have strongly articulated and physically demonstrated in their traditional and in the present democratic processes a common aspiration – against corporate mining in their domains.
They apparently prefer to farm and mine according to their needs as individual members of their community as their ancestors had done for a long-long time. These communities according to the knowledge the people have gained through the years have nurtured and cared for their main source of livelihood until now. And,
Especially now where the government by law is supposed to provide basic services to support its citizens – health, education, agricultural support for farmers, education on environmental conservation, electricity, etc. – but apparently it adequately has not.
These people have struggled through and by their traditional political systems, and also by or through the present Philippine constitutional provisions to make their opinion heard by the bureaucracy of governing leaderships.
Already deprived by the poverty imposed by the present government system, economically and politically, they continue to pool their resources to defend their common right to their ancestral land and resources for the future of their children and the integrity of their community. Thru their traditional elders’ meetings, community consultations, lobby at the barangay, municipal government councils, petitions, letters, and filed complaints at the National Commission for Indigengous Peoples (NCIP) offices.
In several meetings during the build-up of the Chico river dams protest in the early eighties, people have said, “one dies as one struggles hard to live and defend his farm and village, we will die anyway so why don’t we die fighting?”
People in their villages have fought long and hard to keep and make their domains productive to provide for the present and also to continue to provide for the future generations. Now, they have a government that apparently wants them to give up their resources by juggling the law that is supposed “to protect their customs, traditions, values, beliefs, their rights to their ancestral domains”?
There is a saying that “a snake or wild boar pushed to a corner is left with the lone option to strike”. It is better known as a law of nature. What would a person or a people do in the same position? # nordis.net