Padilla gets emotional in fighting for Teduray tribe
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Robin Padilla on Tuesday became upset when speaking out for the long-ignored Teduray tribe as he pleaded for justice and urged the government to better defend the rights of indigenous people.
During his privileged speech at the Senate plenary session, Padilla noted that 24 members of the Teduray tribe lost their lives when tropical cyclone Paeng ravaged the country.
Landslides and flash floods from Mt. Minandar affected their relocated homes, which were situated at the foot of the mountain in Maguindanao del Norte.
“Ilang buhay po na naman po ang naisama sa tala ng nasawi sa kalamidad. Ngunit masalimuot ang ugat ng kasawian ng ating mga katutubo. Kung lilimiin ang buong salaysay, matagal na pong nasa peligro ang kanilang buhay dahil sa hindi umano’y sapilitang pagpapalipat sa kanila sa paanan ng Mt. Minandar,” said Padilla.
READ: Storm Paeng death toll jumps to 156 — NDRRMC
(Many lives were listed in the calamity’s death toll. But, the root of the unfortunate incident is complicated. If we delve into the whole narrative, their lives have long been at risk because of the forced relocation to the foot of Mt. Minandar.)
READ: Teduray blames NCIP’s inaction on tribe’s ‘forced relocation’ in landslide-hit site
The tribe has blamed the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for failing to act on their 2020 petition against the relocation at the mountain’s foot.
“Wala pong tugon o aksyon ang natanggap mula sa NCIP ukol sa petisyon. Naghihintay rin po tayo ng komento mula sa Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs ng BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) dahil sila ang dapat na nakatutok sa hinaing ng mga katutubo batay sa kanilang mandato,” said Padilla.
(There is no response or action received from NCIP on the petition. We are also awaiting a comment from the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs of BARMM because they should be the ones focusing on the complaints of tribes.)
The neophyte senator then raised these questions: “Tayo po ba ngayon ang mananakop ng tinubuang lupa ng katutubong Pilipino? Hanggang kailan natin hahayaang masupil ang kanilang karapatan at kayamanan? Lagi na lamang ba tayong ganito?”
(Are we going to conquer the ancestral land of our Filipino tribes? When are we going to allow them to repress their rights and wealth? Are we always going to be like this?)
For Padilla, the situation is unacceptable.
The senator earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 280 to investigate the tragedy that killed 24 Teduray members and find out why the tribe’s right to its land was not respected.
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