Posts Tagged ‘Indigenous Peoples Rights Act’

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
First Posted 16:47:00 01/21/2011

MANILA, Philippines – Two lawmakers have come to the aid of indigenous peoples and residents in Aurora province being threatened of displacement from their lands because of development projects in the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone Freeport (APECO).

Representatives Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao and Walden Bello have filed House Resolution 417 calling on the committee on agrarian reform and the committee on national cultural communities to look into the plights of the people there imperiled by development. 

But Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara appealed to the residents to give development a chance.

“As representative, I believe these issues can be resolved amicably,” Angara said in a text message when asked to react. “I do wish they would give it a chance and some time to show what can be done for residents there.”

Angara and his father, Senator Edgardo Angara co-sponsored Republic Act No. 10083, the law that created APECO. The younger Angara and her aunt, Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, sit on the economic zone’s Board.

APECO covers more than 12,400 hectares of public and private land, including sprawling areas devoted for agriculture and tracts of ancestral lands belonging to the Agta-Dumagats, the indigenous peoples of Casiguran town. (more…)

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(Article published in the Feb 2,2011 issue of Manila Standard Today)

The matter of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone Authority (APEZA) goes beyond the narrow interests of Quezon’s politicians. It involves the wider questions of whether, as a people, we Filipinos have not only the external decency to comport ourselves with civility when dealing with others but also, and more importantly, the internal morality to truly respect the innate dignity of our fellow human beings when dealing with one another.  Specifically, the questions before us is “ought the Angara suzerainty in Aurora be permitted, without protest from the rest of us, to stifle in the process of their pushing for the APEZA, the human rights of their fellow Filipinos, or, in fact, their fellow human beings, the dumagats in the area?” (more…)

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