Indigenous women tells gov’t to focus on food and povery
The Indigenous women from Aeta, Mangyan and Dumagat communities told the government to stop violence and instead focus on food and poverty.
“Land is why we live, land is why we are killed.”
This is the statement of the Indigenous women to describe the current situation that most of their communities face today.
“It is all about killings now – of people, or our environment. From war on drugs, then killings of NPAs. The list of indigenous peoples being killed for fighting for their land against mining and other investors, is growing. Meanwhile, it is the president himself which has said that it will handpick mining and plantations for the ancestral domain. Is this right,” said Teresa dela Cruz, an indigenous woman leader from Maporac, Zambales.
Teresa said that now, hunger is becoming an ordinary part of their daily experience.
“This is not just among Aetas but for most of us indigenous women. Our forests, and farms which are sources of food are being destroyed by land grabbers, and by development projects such as mining, and dams,” Conchita Bigong, an Alangan-Mangyan from Mindoro.
“We need to cultivate our lands, and regenerate our forests. That’s where our food and livelihood come from,” she added.
In their statement, they criticized the president for offering P20,000 to indigenous people for every communist they kill.