IPs Update Indigenous Peoples Agenda
August 8, 2013
Indigenous peoples from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gathered yesterday in Manila to assess the response of the Aquino government to the Indigenous Peoples Agenda submitted at the start of Pres. Aquino’s term in 2010. The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) co organised the event with the Philippines UNDRIP Network, Tebtebba, Koalisyon ng mga Katutubong Samahan sa Pilipinas (KASAPI), Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) and Philippine Task Force on Indigenous Peoples.
The specific themes outlined and defined in the Indigenous Peoples Agenda include 1) lands, territories, resources, development; 2) human rights, militarization and the peace process; 3) conflicting laws, the NCIP, titling, FPIC; and 4) social services, disaster risk reduction and climate change.Reports on the ground attested that Pres. Aquino has not responded to any of these urgent concerns of the country’s indigenous peoples, as iterated by CPA in reaction to the fourth State of the Nation Address of Aquino. CPA notes that the Aquino II government has not done anything to respect and uphold indigenous peoples’ collective right to Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as provided for in the IPRA and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of which Philippine government is a signatory.
The various indigenous organisations yesterday also noted that the situation of Philippine indigenous peoples has worsened under Pres. Aquino. The Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas cites that 35 extrajudicial killings of IPs took place under PNoy, 5 of which are women and 4 are children. Ancestral lands continued to be plundered as well with various large scale extractive industries, from large mining, conversion of agricultural lands to biofuel plantations, coal mining and large energy projects.
The Indigenous Peoples Agenda was updated, to include specific recommendations to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to seriously uphold its mandate to safeguard indigenous peoples rights. The Agenda will be brought anew to government, concerned agencies and institutions on indigenous peoples such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and Commission on Human Rights, including legislators, for urgent response. These will also be among the urgent issues to be brought by the Philippine indigenous peoples to the High Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly or the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014. The CPA has actively participated in the global region preparations of indigenous peoples to the WCIP, including the Asia Regional Preparatory Meeting for the WCIP in 2012, and the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Preparatory Meeting on the WCIP and Global Indigenous Preparatory Conference on the WCIP this 2013.***