Press Release
February 27, 2010


NPC-NP-LDP vice presidential bet Loren Legarda pledged her support to the advocacy of Katribu, an indigenous peoples' party list founded by 25 grassroots indigenous peoples' organizations from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that champions the environment, culture and rights of IPs to ancestral lands.

"The ideals of Katribu Party List fit well with my platform of promoting genuine participation and representation of indigenous peoples' at all levels of government decision making. To me, this is an essential element to nation building," said Loren.

Loren called for the attainment of peace based on social justice by supporting peace initiatives that address militarization in indigenous territories. She also called for the speedy resolution of tribal conflicts.

While acknowledging the advances made by the indigenous people after the passage 12 years ago of Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997, Loren said there is still a need to wipe out all acts of discrimination against the IP's in order to enforce racial equality.

"We need to sustain our efforts to promote and protect the indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples. There is a need to pump-prime the efforts of these communities by infusing funds necessary to develop the four million hectares of land awarded by way of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) and Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs)," said Loren.

"This way, we can make the communities not only self-sufficient but provide them with a chance to contribute the produce derived from their lands to the Philippine economy."

To complement the IPRA, Loren said she has filed Senate Bill No. 2594, entitled an "Anti-Religious and Racial Profiling Act of 2008," seeking to protect the country's indigenous cultural communities from being stereotyped.

"We must build a society that values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity," said Loren.

Under the bill, the following acts will be prohibited:

  • Subjecting a person to unnecessary, unjustified, illegal and degrading search because of his manner of clothing or by reason of his religion, color, creed or ethnic identity;

  • Discriminating a person who is applying for a job just because of his name, religion or ethnic background;

  • Disallowing an individual from entering any establishment or subjecting him to discrimination or harassment because he happens to don a peculiar attire;

  • Employing religious characterization such as words of religious import in print and broadcast media when geographic, political, socio- economic or other distinction might be more accurate;

  • Mimicking or imitating a person's way of speaking particularly his peculiar accent and diction in an insulting and degrading manner.

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