THE Cordillera Day commemorations all over the region was a success according to Windel Bolinget, Cordillera Peoples Alliance [CPA] chairperson.
“One thing is definite against tyranny is that we are not afraid,” Bolinget said.
Bolinget said, the 35th Cordillera Day celebration done in the region and Hong Kong, were carried out amidst the intensified political repression and tyranny of the Duterte regime.
“It (the celebration) only galvanized the unity and solidarity of Cordillera indigenous peoples, joined by indigenous peoples and advocates from various parts of the country and abroad, to fight against tyranny, she said.
Celebrations were held April 21 in Hong Kong; simultaneously on April 24 in Baguio City, Kalinga and Abra; April 27 in Mountain Province, Ifugao and Apayao; and April 29 in Benguet themed “Resist tyranny. Advance the politics of change and self-determination!” with over 3,000 joining from the different provinces of the Cordillera, Baguio City, Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Panay, Mindanao, Taiwan, USA, Myanmar, Nepal, Malaysia, Germany and Hong Kong.
The Baguio commemoration gathered senior citizens who visited SSS and the DSWD to submit petition papers on the increase of pension.
Celebrations across the globe saw a mix of march-rallies, workshops, forum, concert and cultural exchanges, visits to the site of the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and the sites of the Ambuklao and Binga dams, local candidates’ forum and meeting de avance of the Makabayan Coalition with local candidates.
“Politics of change is a change in the current political and economic system towards genuine development and recognition of our rights as indigenous peoples to our ancestral lands and self-determination. It means voting for the right candidates and partylists that truly advance the rights and welfare of the Cordillera people and marginalized sectors, like Bayan Muna Partylist, senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, and some local candidates. The Cordillera Day delegates united and agreed on local peoples’ electoral agenda in the different provinces, which contains our aspirations and demands in relation to the issues that we face and for new politics,” Bolinget said.
Issues tackled during the celebration were destruction of our ancestral lands and resources, particularly by the dam projects of SN Aboitiz (Alimit Hydropower Complex), Pan Pacific Renewable Power Corp. (Guined Dam), and other hydropower projects; and the mining application of the Cordillera Exploration Co., Inc.