Philippines: Indigenous Women Statements On SONA 2012


These are words and reactions from the indigenous women who listened and watched Pnoy deliver his SONA. For one and half hours, they waited for Pnoy to say something about his program for the indigenous people, or something that will indicate that they are part of his development plan, his vision, his dreams for the Filipino people.

Once again, President Noynoy Aquino failed the indigenous women. The non-mention of the plight of the IPs - karaniwan na po ito. The glossing over the fact that the government’s anti-poverty program do not reach the real poorest of the poor, which includes the IPs, especially the IP women – karaniwan na po ito. The non-inclusion of the human rights violations happening within the country, which are experienced by the IPs and the rural poor – karaniwan na po ito. The fact that under his administrations there are already 50 killings, including IP leaders struggling against powerful industries, is ignored, as he declared that criminality has gone down – karaniwan na po ito.

And so if the IP women are deeply disappointed, more frustrated, and angrier – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

If the IP women have lost trust in you, and in your government – Pnoy, ikaw ang gumawa nito.

But as they have said, they will continue to strengthen and organize themselves, as they defend their land, and their rights; and we will continue to support them, as the real changes will come from the people. Sila, Kami, ang gagawa nito.

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Sabi ni Pnoy “Kung may inaagrabyado't ninanakawan ng karapatan, siya ang kakampihan ko. Kung may abusado't mapang-api, siya ang lalabanan ko. Kung may makita akong mali sa sistema, tungkulin kong itama ito.”

- Masarap pakinggan, pero arang may mali, dahil karamihan sa aming mga katutubo ay matagal nang inaagrabyado at niyuyurakan ang aming mga karapatan – Karapatan na mamuhay na mapayapa at matiwasay sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno; na uminom at maligo sa malinis na tubig; na makalanghap ng malinis na hangin at ipagpatuloy ang aming cultural belief and practices. Lahat ng mga karapatang ito ay nilabag, tinapakan at ninakaw na sa amin ng mga mining companies. Nasaan ka mahal na Pangulong Pinoy bakit hindi mo kami kinampihan at hindi mo nilabanan ang mga minero na siyang sumisira sa mga buhay naming katutubo?

Sabi ni Pnoy, di nya kaya ang “Forgive and forget”. Kami din - Forgive and forget na lang ba para sa aming mga katutubo ang grabeng human rights violations na nangyari dahil sa pagmimina, na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nabibigyan ng hustisya? Di rin pwede sa amin ang Forgive and forget ang mga ninakaw at sinira ng mga mining companies na aming kaisa-isang source ng aming pang araw-araw na pangkabuhayan at siyang puso ng aming spiritual belief.

Sabi ni Pnoy, "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." Sabi namin, Kung walang mining sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno, walang mga katutubo na lalong naghihirap.

Pnoy said, “Where a citizen is oppressed, he will find me as an ally; where there is an oppressor, I will be there to fight; where I find something wrong in the system, I will consider it my duty to right it. Something seems to be wrong, because majority of us Indigenous Peoples have been disadvantaged and our rights have been trampled upon – our right to live peacefully within our ancestral domain; to drink and bathe in clean waters; to breathe clean air; to continue practicing our cultural beliefs. All of these rights have been violated, trampled upon by the mining companies. Where is our dear president, why are you not on our side, and why are you not fighting against the mining companies who ruin the lives of indigenous peoples?

Pnoy said that to Forgive and forget is unacceptable. And so it is with us – it will not be forgive and forget for us IPs the grave human rights violations committed against us because of mining, to which until now justice has not been served. It cannot be just forgive and forget for the mining companies who have taken from us and destroyed our source of livelihood and the heart of our spiritual belief.

Pnoy said “If there is no corruption, there is no poverty.” We say – if there is no mining within our ancestral domain, there is no indigenous community who is made poorer. - Wilma Tenoro, Subanen, Midsalip, Zamboanga

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“Bakit kaya ang hirap hirap banggitin ang mga salitang Indigenous Peoples pagdating sa SONA? Hindi ba kami tinuturing na kasama sa mga Juan at Juana dela Cruz na kinakausap nya? Kawawa naman kami. Lagi na lang absent sa kanyang mga plano at pangarap sa bansa. Kailangang palakasin pa ang sigaw, at ang aming pwersa. Maski NCIP, hindi naming maasahan na ilagay kami sa isipan ng Pangulo.”

Why is it difficult to utter the words ‘indigenous peoples’ during SONA? Are we not considered part of the Juan and Juana dela Cruz that Pnoy talks to? We are pitiful. We are always absent in his plans and vision for the country. We really need to make our voices louder, and our force stronger. We cannot even depend on NCIP to place us in the consciousness of the President.” - Judith Menares, Ibaloi, Baguio City

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“Ayon kay PNOY, Nasabat ng barko natin at nasabad sa kanilang mga barko ang endangered species. Buti pa ang endangered species, nabanggit. Kaming mga indigenous peoples, na maari nang maging endangered, ay di man lang nabanggit. . . Ang hina naman ng NCIP, at hindi man lang kami nasama sa SONA.”

Pnoy reported - Our patrol boats intercepted some of their ships, which contain endangered species. The endangered species are in a better position than us, as the President made special mention of them, while us, indigenous peoples, who are soon to be endangered, have not been mentioned at all. . . NCIP proved to be weak, as it was not able to register the IP issues in the SONA.”- Bae Rose Undag, Higaonon, Misamis Oriental

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“Pnoy pahirap sa mga katutubo. Ang totoong boss nya ay ang mga mayayaman na bansa, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy at mga multinational companies. Talamak ang di pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga katutubo sa aming lupaing ninuno. Lalong malupit dahil sa EO79 na talagang ibibigay sa MMCs ang mga lupain. Dahil dito lalong lumala ang HRVs sa mga komunidad. Massive displacement. Pinapatupad ang oplan bayanihan sa kanayunan at pagkakahati sa mga IPs.

Sinabi nyang naahon sa hirap ang mga mamamayan. May milyong-milyong piso para sa 4Ps subalit hindi angkop sa totoong kalagayan ng mga katutubo. Ang solusyon ay pagkakaisa ng mga katutubo sa buong bansa pag iralin ang pagtaguyod tungo sa sariling pagpapasya. At i-expose ang programa ni pinoy na kontra mamamayang katutubo.”

PNOY – burden to the indigenous peoples. His real bosses are rich countries, Lopez, Tan, Cojuangco, Sy and multinational companies. Human rights violations against indigenous peoples are still rampant. EO79 is worse, blatantly giving away our lands to multinational mining companies. And this is why HRVs are worsened in our communities. Massive displacement. Oplan Bayanihan is implemented in our communities and this has caused division among us.

Pnoy said that Filipino people have been lifted from poverty. But this is misleading. Millions of pesos have been allocated for the 4Ps but this program is not applicable to the real situation of the indigenous peoples. The solution is the unity of all indigenous peoples within our country and assert our right to self-determination, and expose the programs of Pnoy as anti-indigenous peoples. - Norma Capuyan, Manobo, Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC)

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“Malaki ang pag-asa ko habang nanonood ako ng SONA ni pnoy na baka ngyaon mabanggit man lang kaming mga katutubo subalit hanggang sa matapos ang SONA di man lang kami nabanggit kaya nanlumo ako at nalungkot. Talagang wala kaming puwang na mga katutubo kay pnoy samantalang isa kami sa mga naglukluk sa kanya sa pwesto. Kailangan na uli magwangwang kaming mga katutubo upang sa susunod na sona ay mapasali man lang. mga d armas ang kanyang mga pinangangaralangan kaming mga nanahiimik at payapang namumuhay di man lang naisali sa sona.”

I was really hoping while watching SONA of Pnoy that this time, we will be mentioned, but until the very end, no mention of the indigenous peoples. We really do not have a space in Pnoy, even if we were part of those who put him in his position now. We really need to use wang-wang again, so that in the next SONA, we will be part of it. He honored the men in arms, but did not even mention us who try to live in peace in our communities. - Conchita Bigong, Alangan-Mangyan, Mindoro Oriental

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“Frustration. Wala kaming naramdaman na impact ng mga anti-poverty reduction program sa nai-report nya dito sa aming barangay o munisipyo. At kahit sa programa nya na LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) na dapat daw bida ang basic sectors, kung saan isa sa mga basic sectors ang IP. At baka hindi alam ni Pnoy na may ng exist na IP kaya hindi kasama sa mga usapin, at hindi mabanggit.

Frustration. We do not feel the impact of his report on anti-poverty reduction program here at the barangay or municipal level. Even the LPRAP (Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan) which should benefit the basic sectors, which includes the indigenous peoples. Maybe Pnoy is not aware that indigenous peoples exist, and that is why we are not involved, and have not been mentioned. - Zenaida P. Mansiliohan, Talaandig, KALALAGAN, Brgy. Dona Flavia, San Luis, Agusan del Sur

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Pakiramdam ko nabale wala na naman nya ang katutubo. Pakiramdam ko nagalit talaga ako sa nangyayari, parang hindi kami Pilipino, hindi tao para kay pinoy. Sa lahat ng kanyang sinabi sa mining hindi yan. Hindi ang klase ng mining, tulad ng sa SMI (Xstrata), ang makakatulong sa mga tao, at lalong hindi sa aming mga katutubo. At sa 4Ps ng gobyerno, sabi nya ang mga pinakamahirap ay naabot nito. Isa kami sa mga pinakamahirap, pero di naman kami nakaka-avail ng programa – kapitan lang at tribal chieftain. Kaming mga pinaka wala, di naman maka-avail.

Noon pa bale wala na ang katutubo sa gobyerno. Kaya’t nasa amin talaga na mga katutubo na labanan ang mina sa aming komunidad, at kami na rin talaga ang mag aahon sa amin sa kahirapan.

I felt that indigenous peoples were again ignored. I really felt mad with what’s happening, it’s as if we are not Filipinos, not even people, for Pnoy. Everything that he said about mining is not true. It is not the kind of mining, especially that of SMI (Xstrata), that will help people, especially us indigenous people. As for the 4Ps program of the government, he said that it has reached the poorest of the poor. We are the poorest of the poor but we have not been able to avail of this – except for our barangay captain, and our tribal chieftain. For us who have nothing, could not avail.

For the longest time, the government has not paid any attention to us indigenous peoples. It is really up to us, indigenous peoples, who should work hard to fight mining in our communities, and to uplift ourselves from poverty. - Robina Poblador, B’laan, Saranggani Province

Source: LILAK (Purple Action for IP Women’s Rights)



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