IP group seeks justice for violent dispersal

MANILA — Leaders of an indigenous people’s (IP) coalition sought President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s help after a violent dispersal of militants at the US Embassy.

In a visit at Malacanang Friday, Sandugo leaders presented a letter for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who is still on a state visit in Beijing, China.

The group was met by Presidential Communications Office (PCO) officials led by Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Noel Puyat, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Enrique Tandan III, Assistant Secretary for Operations and Special Concerns Marie Banaag and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Kissinger Reyes.

Photos by Mariel Dela Paz for Northbound Philippines News
Photos by Mariel Dela Paz for Northbound Philippines News

Assisted by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr, Sandugo leaders urged the President to order a thorough investigation of the violent dispersal of protesting IPs who were reportedly just supporting President Duterte’s assertion of Filipino sovereignty and independence from the United States.

Sandugo called for justice for all Moro and IPs, whose human rights have been violated and their lands illegally taken away through deception of unscrupulous individuals.

The group also called for the abolition of agreements signed with the United States that allow militarization of Moros and IP communities, and the exploitation of their resources.

Sandugo leaders, who also asserted the right to decide for themselves, expressed their support for a foreign-independent policy that s more democratic and best suited for the development of not only the IPs but also for all Filipinos.

Puyat and Banaag assured the group that their request will be forwarded to President Duterte as soon as he gets back from his official visit to China. PNA-northboundasia.com