UN office to be more prudent in helping NGOs in PH

MANILAThe United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) has vowed to be more careful and discerning in choosing non-government organizations (NGOs) to help in the country.

This, after a group of indigenous people's (IP) leaders visited their office in Rome, Italy to report about communists and left-leaning groups taking advantage of the assistance they give.

On September 16, UN-FAO Partnerships and Capacity Development Division Director, Marcela Villareal, said she is touched by the stories of the IP leaders' bitter experiences under the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army's (CPP-NPA) conquest of their ancestral domains.

Datu Awing Apuga, one of the IP leaders, told Villareal that a number of NGOs in the Philippines uses the natives to receive money from big agencies only (to) fund their evil schemes.

Apuga said as leaders, they are determined to stop the exploitation of IP communities and vowed to do everything to halt the operations of groups acting as channels to the communist movement.

On September 17, some of the tribal leaders also spoke before the members of the Geneva Press Club in a dialogue in Switzerland.

During the dialogue, Datu James Binayao of the Manobo-Talaandig Tribe of Maramag, Bukidnon, said the communist armed movement in the Philippines has thrived through the years due to continued support it gets, through legal fronts and from some international groups.

"I call on the international community to please stop the support to these organizations who are allied with the CPP-NPA. For the past 50 years, the CPP-NPA has come to our ancestral domain to steal the peace and development that we have in our community," Binayao said.

He reported that CPP-NPA established camps in their ancestral domains which they consider their life since their ancestors fought hard to preserve them.

He added that the group camping on their land resulted in the displacement of its original IP settlers.

Meanwhile, Bae Laha Lahong Chiary Balinan of the Ata Tribe in Paquibato, Davao City, said she herself was a "victim of recruitment" that led her astray to attaining real education.

"They teach us how to use propaganda to fight our government. They ruined the good future of the IP children," Balinan said.

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

Source: Philippines News Agency

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