Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla took immediate action on the problems of indigenous people in Pampanga, after learning of the matter earlier this week.
Padilla and his staff went to Sitio Haduan in Mabalacat, Pampanga Thursday morning to find solutions to the Aetas’ problems, which included finding a suitable place for them to sell their produce.
A warm welcome awaited the senator and his team, who crossed a hanging bridge in Haduan to gather details of the indigenous people’s various issues.
“Pag-usapan natin ang hindi kaya i-solve dito. Yan ang tungkol sa papeles na hindi nagkakasundo ang ancestral domain, hindi nagkakasundo ang joint management agreement, pati ang people’s indigenous act. Kailangan hanapin natin saan sila magkakasundo (We discussed the problems that they could not immediately solve. These include issues regarding their ancestral domain, their joint management agreement, and the People’s Indigenous Act. We need to find solutions to these),” Padilla said after meeting with the Aetas and with representatives of Clark Development Corp. (CDC).
“Hindi ko nakikitang malaking problema (ito). Kailangan lang talaga may gumitna. Kasi hangga’t walang gumigitna dito, kanya-kanya yan… Kung may dapat amyendahan o kailangang gawing batas ang legislative natin isusulong natin yan (I don’t think this is a big problem. We just need someone to make sure everyone is on the same page. But if there is a need to amend or revisit some laws, we’ll do what it takes),” he added.
Among the problems relayed to Padilla by the Aetas’ representatives earlier this week were the repairing of bridges and roads in the area.
Padilla stressed he is one with the indigenous people in their dreams of improving their lot in life.
“Maganda yung mga ganoon. Yan ine-entertain natin at dapat suportahan natin mangyari (Improving their lot in life is something we should support),” he said.