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Cordilleran migrants commemorate their people’s struggle for self-determination

| April 26, 2017

Cordillera Day Celebration 2017FB
Today, we migrant workers from the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, declare our unity to honor our ancestors who fought for the defense of our land, resources and ancestral domain and assert our right to self-determination.

Thousands of Cordillerans in Hong Kong are living testimonies of forced migration resulting from lack of jobs, decent wages ,and displacement from agricultural and ancestral lands back home despite the so-called “development” propagated by past and present regimes.

The existence of groups organized by sitios, barangays, municipalities, provinces and the region as a whole reflects a strong culture of unity and solidarity among Cordillerans.

Proud of our rich cultural heritage, we perform our traditional salidummay, pattong, pallook, uggayam, ullalim, kullilipan during our own celebration of province day or patron saint day in public areas in Hong Kong.
But we know these are not enough to impact change in the situation back home where traditional politicians pursue their platform for their own selfish agenda through their own private armed groups and through government military forces.

The celebration of Cordillera Day is a significant event in uplifting our social and political consciousness as Cordilleran migrants, especially as indigenous peoples, in our struggle against political repression, militarization, commercialization of our culture and other injustices committed against national minorities.

We recognize the need for deeper understanding of the root causes of migration, displacement of the indigenous peoples, persistent poverty amidst all the government programs in each province,political patronage that breeds corruption, and many other issues.

On this year’s Cordillera Day in Hong Kong, each province will project in a a cultural presentation issues of concern of the people in each specific place of origin such as impacts of mining, militarization, quest for just peace, access to social services, employment and just wages.

Many Cordillerans in Hong Kong attest that their families have experienced losing their homes and properties as a result of mining and military operations. The recent indiscriminate aerial bombings in Brgy. Lat-ey, Malibcong, Abra have caused fear and anxiety among the relatives in HK prodding migrant organizations to send a letter of appeal to government authorities to help stop the military operations and encampment in the villagers’ homes.

Like the general aspiration of the Filipino people, we Cordilleran migrants hope and look forward to a solution to the struggles of indigenous peoples.

We believe that the advancements in the peace talks Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front that is now tackling the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms is a step in this direction. We shall remain vigilant to make these happen.

Let this Cordillera Day HK 2017 affirm our commitment to unite and build a stronger movement of migrants working together to achieve just and lasting peace in our region and the Philippines as a whole.

Editor’s note:
The above text is the joint statement of the Cordillera Alliance (CORALL-HK), Abra Tingguian Ilocano Society (ATIS-HK) and the United Filipinos In Hk (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) on the occasion of the celebration of the Cordillera Day at Chater Road, Central 2017 April 23


Category: Culture

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