IP agenda readied for Duterte


6 June 2016

GROUPS in the Cordillera region are pushing for an indigenous peoples
agenda for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) with other indigenous organizations
in the country under Katribu, a national alliance of indigenous peoples,
will submit the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Agenda to Duterte this month.

Components of the IP agenda include the titling of ancestral lands and
domain, the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and the Ancestral
Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP), Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and Indigenous Peoples, the GRP and the MILF
Peace Talks and the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) and the GRP and
the NDF Peace Talks, human Rights violations, mining and other
development projects, and conflicting laws.

The prepared agenda has called on Duterte to give special attention to
the plight of Indigenous Peoples in terms of poverty reduction and
eradication measures, and improvement of basic social services.

The IP Agenda reiterates the call on both parties, the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front,
to recognize the peace pacts forged through history between different
Indigenous Peoples and Muslims in Mindanao. It also calls on the GRP,
MILF and NDF to establish or create an appropriate body to ensure the
effective participation of indigenous peoples across the country.

Members of this body should be selected by Indigenous Peoples
themselves, added the agenda.

Duterte is also being asked to declare a moratorium on large-scale
mining and conduct a review of existing mining policies in the country.

It further calls on the government to exclude indigenous people’s sacred
sites, critical watersheds and sanctuaries from mining and other
development projects.

The IP Agenda also called on the incoming President to require mining
companies to rehabilitate degraded and mined-out areas, and compensate
indigenous peoples affected by landslides, erosions and sinkholes.

Furthermore, the IP Agenda calls for the government to ensure a genuine
free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples be obtained
before other development projects such as mega hydroelectric dams are
brought into their communities. (Maria Elena Catajan)