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statements February 8, 2009
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For the Advancement of the Politics of Change:
CPA Supports Katribu Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance, the largest and broadest indigenous peoples’ federation in the Cordillera region, shall support and actively  campaign for COMELEC-accredited national political party Katribu Indigenous Peoples’ Partylist in the upcoming national and local elections in May 2010, as resolved in our Tenth Regional Congress last November 2009. We do this with zeal knowing that finally, indigenous peoples’ nationwide, who only take up 14% of the country’s total population, now has the capacity to seek seats in Congress through the  partylist system.  Indeed, this is a demonstration of the advancement of the national indigenous peoples’ movement. Indigenous peoples are one of the most marginalized sectors of Philippine society, and are thus entitled to have their issues brought to Congress through the partylist system.

CPA believes in Katribu’s electoral platform  of upholding indigenous peoples’ self determination, indigenous socio-political institutions and knowledge; defense of the ancestral land from plunder and exploitation; assertion of a self-reliant, self-determined and sustainable development in indigenous communities—all  in the framework if nation-building for a just and humane Filipino society.  

It is high time that  the issue of national oppression, manifested in the plunder and exploitation of indigenous territories, various forms of grave human rights abuses, historical government neglect and discrimination—is brought to Congress by a genuine indigenous peoples’ partylist  embodied by the program and principles of Katribu, which was founded by 25 indigenous grassroots’ organizations, including the CPA,  last August 9, 2008 on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

We strongly encourage fellow Igorots in the Cordillera, fellow indigenous peoples across the nation, indigenous peoples’ rights advocates and non-indigenous peoples, to acquaint themselves with Katribu’s platform and agenda, and eventually support it in May 2010.  We also urge the public to be cautious of other political parties that do not genuinely represent the marginalized sectors of society, save for a few individuals.

Also, we are honored that the first and fifth nominees are our fellow Igorots, namely: Beverly Longid (Bontok-Kankanaey) and Engr. Vergel Aniceto (Ibaloi), respectively. We are equally honored to have as nominees Genasque Enriquez (Manobo, second nominee), Nelson Mallari (Aeta, third nominee) and Kaerlan Fanagel (B’laan, fourth nominee)

While the Philippine electoral system is historically marred with massive cheating, violence and fraud, it is still a democratic exercise whereby Filipinos seek reforms in government and hope in the eventual implementation of programs that reflect the people’s concerns.   It is therefore our obligation to ensure that the people’s issues are contained in the electoral agenda of political parties and individual candidates,   as we  press forward the politics of change. #



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