November 24, 2017, 5:06 pm
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Philex parades for indigenous peoples’ cause

STAYING true to its commitment of support and respect for the culture of ethnic tribes, Philex Mining Corp.

oined Monday, Oct. 30, a multisectoral parade and formal ceremonies held in Baguio City in celebration of the Indigenous Peoples’ Month and the 20th Anniversary of IPRA, or IPs’ Rights Act, where Cordilleran soldiers who had fallen while fighting terrorists in Marawi were also honored.

 “We have always shown respect for the way of life of the IPs, especially those in areas where we operate and do other mining-related activities,” Eduardo Aratas, manager of Legal Division at Philex Mining’s Padcal mine, in the Benguet towns of Tuba and Itogon, said.

 Having joined the parade, which started from the Igorot Park and snaked through the main thoroughfare of Session Road, as well as attended the formal ceremonies afterward at the PFVR Gym Sports Complex,

on Military Cutoff Road, Aratas highlighted Philex Mining’s religious payment of local and national taxes and its dogged implementation of the various projects on social development and environmental protection.

Politicians from the six provinces (Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Apayao, Kalinga, and Mt. Province) and two cities (Baguio and Tabuk) of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) took turns extolling the IPs and their lawful right to their ancestral domains embodied in the Constitution and the IPRA. Created in 1987 by virtue of a peace accord, CAR is home to many ethnic tribes known collectively as “Igorot.”

 Sr. Insp. Jonalyn Malnat, spokesperson of the Special Action Forces (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), was in attendance to receive the plaques given by the NCIP, or National Commission on IPs,

in commendation of the heroism of the eight Cordillerans—three SAF members and fiver from the Armed Forces of the Philippines—who had perished in the battle between government forces and terrorists in Lanao del Sur’s capital and only city, Marawi.   

 
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