Datu Amarillo Marcelo Alejo Jr, president of Indigenous Peoples Conference of the Philippines (IPCP) Inc. said they have been pushing an IP Federal State in Mindanao following the proposal to shift to a federal form of government.
“We expressed support in Federalism and the proposed federal state in the Philippines. We have our own IP Federal region mao na among gusto ipaabot sa inyuha,” said Alejo.
He said they are pushing for an IP state to become self- sufficient and if their request will be granted they can be assured of their own economic status.
“At the heart of the creation of the IP Federal Region is the ability of the Mindanao Indigenous Cultural Communities-Indigenous Peoples to serve governance and the right of the Mindanao ICC/IPs to self- governance employing as far as practicable their indigenous political structure shall be given the primodial importance,” he said.
In their position paper submitted to the Office of the President dated July 6, 2018 the group recommended to the Office of the President through the Special Assistant to the President and the Constitutional Commission to come up and include in the House of Representatives, a Bill for the creation of the IP Federal State in Mindanao and provide mechanism as full protection of the rights of the IPs and provide funds needed.
They said with an IP federal state their culture and tradition will be preserved. The state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development; the state shall recognize and promotes the rights of the indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development; and subject to the provision of the Constitution and national development policies and programs, the state shall protect the rights of ICCs to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being.
They also pushed their right to participate in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans, policies and programs for national, regional, and local development. Maya M. Padillo