Lumad leaders to bare ‘real state’ of IPs in Mindanao

ANOTHER group of an Indigenous People (IP) organization will mount a protest Wednesday, June 27, as they too--like two other IP groups--did not receive any invitation for the three-day 1st Indigenous Peoples Mindanao Cluster Convergence Summit here at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP).

Kalumbay regional lumad organization chairperson Datu Jomorito Goaynon said it is not ideal to pass resolutions and provide solutions to problems faced by lumads without including all groups of IPs in Mindanao.

“Kay ang mahitabo man gud ani maghimo sila ug resolutions na wala gyud makonsulta ang tibuok kalumaran sa Mindanao (What will happen is that they will pass resolutions without consulting all lumad groups in Mindanao). Mao lang ni ang IP Summit nga dili tanan IP groups naay representate (This is the only IP Summit where not all Mindanao IP groups were represented),” he said.

If they were invited, Goaynon said they will report the “real state” of the IPs in Mindanao, which he said is a disturbing picture.

Goaynon said the IP Summit is not only the venue to echo these calls, this is why they will let their voice be heard at the IP Summit, even just outside the venue.

Meanwhile, Bae Dayan Dayan Vivian Tawakal Baroza, head of the Cagayan de Oro City Tribal Council, said they were still barred from attending on Day 2 of the summit.

She said they are also set to initiate a petition to remove National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) regional director Pinky Grace Pabelic for her inaction on several issues of their ancestral domain at San Simon-Bagocboc-Malanang.

Baroza said there are currently more or less 15 towers owned by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) standing inside their ancestral land, but they did not even receive a peso out from it.

“We did not have a memorandum of agreement for this matter, they did not ask for our consent, and we were not paid for it. Maybe the NCIP is the one collecting the money in exchange of our ancestral lands,” she said.

“They do not want us inside because they will be ashamed of our exposes, because we will disclose the anomalies happening inside the NCIP,” she added.

Baroza said she hopes that the government will place a regional director that is a true mouthpiece of the lumad community.

Aside from the Kalumbay organization, the Unified Higanonon Tribal Council, Inc. and San Simon, Malanang, Bagocboc Tribal Council were also earlier prohibited to participate the IP Summit.


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