What About the Needs of Indigenous Peoples? Hontiveros, Espiritu Answer

Senatorial candidates Risa Hontiveros and Luke Espiritu on Saturday presented their solutions on how to maintain the heritage and livelihoods of the country's indigenous peoples.

They are a part of society, too, says Hontiveros, noting that in ensuring they have the means to meet their needs, their cultural integrity must also be preserved.

"Unang-una yung pagsulong sa karapatan ng indigenous peoples at pag-provide ng pangangailangan ng ating lipunan kasi bahagi sila ng ating lipunan. So kailangan, itaguyod yung kanilang cultural integrity, totoong awtonimya sa mga autonomous regions nila, kapayapaan, at yung karapatan nila sa ancestral domain. Yung livelihood nila, dahil meron na rin silang mga indigenous livelihoods sa agrikultura," she said.

Espiritu, a labor lawyer, on the other hand said indigenous peoples must remain in full control of their ancestral domains, as militarization continues to threaten their security. 

"That means, dapat nating i-demilitarize ang ating IPs [indigenous peoples]. Dahil pag-pasok ng mga militar dyan, na-rredtag sila, pinapatay sila, at susunod na yung mga mining companies, mga land grabber, mga land developer na inu-undermine ang kanilang kontrol sa kanilang ancestral domains. 'Yan ang pinaka-problema ngayon ng mga IPs at dapat nating pangalagaan ang kanilang seguridad na sila mismo ay may kontrol sa kanilang ancestral domains," he said.

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