Sulong Katribu Partylist deplores its recent disqualification by the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court (SC) from participating in the 2016 partylist elections. Sulong Katribu views this as an outright denial to a genuine political representation of indigenous peoples in the halls of congress.
In her statement, Jill K. Carino, 2nd Nominee of SK, stated that the disqualification further marginalizes the already marginalized indigenous peoples who face dislocation, disenfranchisement and human rights violations in the communities. Specifically, Sulong Katribu highlights the lack of a genuine IP voice in congress to tackle the burning issues of human rights violations, development aggression and environmental destructions against the Lumads of Mindanao; the Agtas of the Zinundungan Valley; indigenous migrants in Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela. Did we ever hear from any IP partylist in congress condemning these atrocities committed against the IPs or even dared to file a resolution for an on-site investigation?
Carino added that the disqualification also stifles the voices of genuine indigenous representatives who could contribute much in formulating national laws and policies for the rights and interests of indigenous peoples. Clearly, based on experiences on the ground, there are national laws and policies that contradict indigenous peoples systems on land ownership and natural resource management such as the Regalian Doctrine, Philippine Mining Act of 1995, National Integrated Protected Areas, PD 705, PD1067, and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. These are laws that a genuine IP representation can raise in congress for possible amendments favoring IPs.
Carino further added that clearly, political misrepresentation and patronage continues to dominate in the elections. She urged fellow indigenous peoples to continue fight for the rights to land and self-determination in all ways possible.
The SC may have disqualified Sulong Katribu but the fight is not over. Sulong Katribu will still work and strengthen its ranks among the indigenous peoples to end national oppression, political misrepresentation and discrimination./For reference:Jill K. Carino, 2nd Nominee, Sulong Katribu, 0999 674 8434