With the theme “Lumadnong Kinaiyahan, Martsa Alang sa Kalingkawasan”, indigenous people (IPs), students, and members of different human rights and environmental groups in Davao city marched from Freedom Park to People’s Park last Wednesday, Aug. 19.
Amnesty International Philippines-Davao (AIPh-Davao), together with the Ateneo Public Interest and Legal Advocacy (APILA) and the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Center (UCEAC), organized the said event. Its purpose was to encourage other people to participate in the protection of rights of different tribes in Davao, and the environment.
UCEAC Chair Atty. Romeo Cabarde, Jr. stated the event also aimed to show support to the indigenous people.
“Isa sa atong ginaduso karon ang atong katungod sa katawhang lumad aron makalingkawas sa lahi-lahi nga paglapas sa tawhanong katungod sama sa land-grabbing, displacement, ug diskriminasyon,” Cabrade said in a short program held in People’s Park after the march.
Cabarde also said he hoped that the program will serve as a reminder to respect Mother Nature as well as members of indigenous communities.
Representatives from the IPs shared their culture, specifically their political, economic and social systems during the program.
Ecoteneo Director Carmela Santos also shared her insights about environmental protection.
With regard to the activity, Via Kathleen Gonzaga, an International Studies student, said that protection of the IPs and the environment is crucial.
“We need to protect the rights of indigenous people because in return they will also protect our environment and that would benefit us all,” Gonzaga said.