IP leaders laud PRRD’s anti-insurgency drive

CHICAGO, Illinois Indigenous people's (IP) group leaders on Monday commended President Rodrigo Duterte for his move to push for a whole-of-nation approach in addressing communist insurgency in the Philippines.

Nakita namin yung kanyang passion to help, not just the poor, but the indigenous pepople. Yung panawagan din namin na yung Executive Order 70 na kanyang pinirmahan, sana ma-implement na yun as soon as possible hanggang doon sa mga remote areas para matulungan na matapos na itong problema natin sa insurgency (We saw his passion in helping, not just the poor, but the indigenous people. We also call for the immediate implementation of the EO 70 up to the remote areas so our problem on insurgency will be addressed), Bai Christine Banugan said in a media forum at the Consulate General of the Philippines office in Chicago.

Contained in Executive Order 70, Duterte has formed the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), directing the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizing a whole-of-nation approach towards peace and development.

The NTF ELCAC, which he chairs, seeks to provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the civilian-led approach to aid in realizing the country's aspiration to attain sustainable peace.

Datu Nestor Apas, meanwhile, hailed Duterte's efforts to attain sustainable peace with his campaign to address the root causes of rebellion, as he called for a bigger budget for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in order to hasten the issuance of certificate of ancestral domain titles (CADT), a state land tenurial instrumentation that checks and defines the boundaries of ancestral domain and ancestral lands.

Ancestral domain titles

Para sa akin, maganda ang performance ni presidente. Sa ngayon, nananawagan kami na dagdagan ang budget ng NCIP para paspas ang proseso ng delineation ng ancestral domain (For me, the President's performance is good. Right now, we call for a higher budget for the NCIP to fast-track the process of delineation of ancestral domain), he said.

Banugan echoed Apas' call for a higher budget of the NCIP, given that securing sufficient money from the national coffers has been hampering NCIP's programs in the past.

Sana madagdagan ang budget ng NCIP para mapabilis din ang ancestral domain sustainable protection plan (We hope for a bigger budget for the NCIP to also speed up the ancestral domain sustainable protection plan), he said.

For his part, Datu Jacob Lanes said their group already submitted programs that should be prioritized by the NCIP.

Kailangan namin i-prepara ang aming mga community dahil hindi lang gobyerno ang solusyon nito, ang solusyon ay ang pagdebelop, pag-organisa at pag-prepare ng communities para sa mga programang pangkapayapaan at pangkaunlaran (We need to prepare our community because the government is not only the solution here, the solution is to develop, organize and prepare communities for peace and development programs), he said.

The NCIP is tasked to oversee the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA), which is a groundbreaking legislation in Southeast Asia.

Anti-insurgency drive

The tribal leaders, during the forum, slammed the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) for keeping IP communities poor by teaching young children to become instruments of war and blocking peace and development programs in their communities.

They are in the United States for a series of speaking engagements, as they rally the international community to resist the communist insurgency movement in the Philippines.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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