These agencies are all tasked to ensure that the rights of the Indigenous Peoples are RESPECTED and PROMOTED. But then, most if not all of those so-called public servants in these government offices never ever raised a finger to help those who are considered among the very least among us because they are “uneducated” and materially poor.

It is indeed a shame that the Department of Education’s so-called efforts in its Indigenous Peoples’ Education (IPED), which stated in its curriculum design, competency and content in 2015 among, others, the “ADVANCEMENT OF IP RIGHTS & WELFARE,” were nothing but pretence. So is the so-called Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act in 1997 (IPRA), which has been used by the unscrupulous in the sell-out of the IPs Ancestral lands.

The deliberate destruction of an ethnic group as the encyclopedia defines ETHNOCIDE had been and still is being practiced by despotic regimes, then and now, even if government apologists persist to deny so. The ravage of the military complex against the indigenous communities all over Mindanao could never be justified by the Duterte administration that has finally succumb to the dictates and the whims of its military masters.

It is sad to think as well, that Filipinos have been used to this capitalistic governance since time immemorial such that we are GENERALLY, no longer affected (seemingly so) in the face of violations of most of our inherent fundamental rights then and NOW.

Thus, even if we are SEEING, HEARING and WITNESSING blatant abuses committed all around us, we turn our heads and close our eyes, so to speak, and we only react to OURSELVES, perhaps because we are either intimidated, coerced, fearful of our own safety, OR just maybe more concerned of our own survival.

Self-preservation is human nature, we all know that, but we have to remember, that when all is dead and gone, when the IPs are no longer there, and the loud activists are either silenced or stashed in dungeons to silence them, and those who chose to keep to themselves are behind, that’s the time the painful realization can hit one that they are alone to fend for themselves.

It is really deplorable that generally, we, the SUPREME civilian authority in this so-called democratic country, have become docile and irrelevant in the face of this one-man-rule that continues to disparage peoples’ Constitutional Rights. It is as if we never really learned our lessons in the not-so-distant past. Like it or not, we have been reduced to unquestioning multitude of chained mongrels who awaits the master’s crumbs and morsels falling from his mouth to the ground, and mindlessly attacks those who defy and stand up against such monstrosity.

Thus, even if the plunderers of Duterte’s Martial Rule continues to make the Indigenous People’s lives a living hell, and persists with the desecration of their basic rights to abode, education, and most of all to live peaceably, city dwellers like us continues to be APATHETIC, unconcerned with the growing cries of anguish from the very least among us.

We are actually feeding the rapaciousness of this megalomaniac, tyrannical regime that consumes and devours the last vestiges of hope we are holding on in our ravaged environment.

The Indigenous Peoples in Talaingod, who once stood as the vanguards for the last frontier that is Pantaron Range against big time corporate greed among loggers and miners, are now not only critically endangered as well as they put up against the brute forces of State machinery.(

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