Bukidnon Lumad leaders on SONA: Silent again on indigenous peoples
By Walter I. Balane
July 24, 2012
This was the reaction of Lumad (indigenous peoples) leaders here to President Aquino’s nearly 90-minute State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon.
Datu Mayda Pandian, a provincial board member representing the indigenous peoples said Aquino forgot about the IPs. “There was zero mention of his plans or the development of his visi on for us,” Pandian, the IP’s mandatory representative to the provincial board, said.
He said there was even no mention about the Lumads when he cited his position on mining in the country.
Last Wednesday, Pandian told the provincial board the government must harmonize its local and national mining policy with the real interests of the IPs.
“Are the Lumads really benefiting from the mining propositions in their ancestral domains?,” he added.
He watched the SONA from his house in Panadtalan, Maramag town and was disappointed. But he declined to comment on the content of the President’s speech.
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