Philippines: CPA hopeful of Duterte’s recognition of IP rights


    BAGUIO CITY — Windel Bolinget, chairperson of Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA), says he is hopeful with the recognition of the indigenous peoples’ (IP) rights and welfare of the incoming administration and is happy that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte mentioned the inclusion of IPs in the Peace Talks during his inaugural address.

    The IP Agenda was once passed to Malacañang under former president Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s approval but there was no record of him responding to the said passed document.

    For the next administration, a new IP agenda was drafted and was approved by the national council of leaders of Katribu, national alliance of indigenous peoples in the Philippines, and was finalized during the national people’s summit last June 29. It was then passed and discussed personally with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on June 30.

    “Panahon na upang bigyan ng sapat na suportang batayang serbisyo ang mga katutubong mamamayan sa edukasyon, appropriate infrastructure, health services, at maglaan ng malaking pondo para sa basic social services.” Bolinget stated in an interview.

    The IP Agenda consists of four main concerns: Stop IP militarization, free all IP political prisoners, especially the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultants, abolish National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and scrap Mining Act of 1995.

    “Our call [is] to stop the mining act and enact the people’s mining bill. So we are not just calling for the junking of the mining act of 1995, we are also proposing and this has been filed at congress so long ago by the Makabayan bloc.” Bolinget said.

    According to him, even Duterte, during their personal presentation of the IP Agenda at Malacañang, said that these big mining companies should really be investigated and the economic standing of indigenous communities should also be looked upon.