Duterte administration must do more for IPs
I am writing in reaction to the article about the lumad commending President Duterte (“Tribal folk give DU30 high score, but call for more attention,” Regions, 10/13/16). Being aware of their problems—abuse and harassment in the hands of militant groups and companies extracting natural resources from their ancestral lands, it is gratifying to know that the lumad have found hope.
Neglected in the past and regarded by government as mere statistics, the lumad are encouraged by the Duterte administration’s greater effort, albeit not enough yet, in addressing their concerns. The fact is, the abusive paramilitary groups that have been giving them problems were created by entities claiming or making it appear that they represented the Philippine government.
The Duterte administration should not leave this problem with paramilitary groups to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It should directly take the necessary action to address the problem. I am looking forward to see the government exactly doing this.
We in the mainstream should also help—at least, to improve the situation of the lumad and other indigenous peoples for they are no lesser than or different from us. It is our responsibility to protect our national heritage and countrymen’s rights.
KEICHI THOMAS A. YAMANE, firstname.lastname@example.org
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