Tubag Jugatan says tandem Leni-Kiko has the full support of his 2,000-strong community, saying government support is needed for native seeds and organic farming. PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEAM KIKO PANGILINAN
SAN NARCISO, ZAMBALES – Vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday received the backing from an Aeta community in Botolan town as its chieftain, Tubag Jugatan, expressed his community’s full support to the agriculture advocate.
Jugatan said that his community of over 2,000 Aetas is only one among the 11 Aeta barangays in Zambales that will throw full support to Pangilinan’s vice-presidential bid.
“Sa amin kasing katutubo, solid kami kung sumuporta. Kaya kung si Vice-President Leni ang presidente namin, siyempre si Senator Kiko ang aming vice president. Hindi na kami pipili ng iba,” the chief said.
“Kung dalawa po silang magka-tandem, sa tingin ko po mas mabibigyan nila ng pagkilala iyong karapatan naming mga katutubo, partikular ang mga Aeta, na marami pa din ang mga lupang ninuno na hindi na-a-award sa amin,” he added.
For Jugatan, Pangilinan’s agriculture advocacy resonates within his community as most Aetas are still heavily reliant on farming as a means of livelihood.
Jugatan hopes that Pangilinan’s programs, if elected, would reach his community.
“Bilang isang pamayanan ng katutubo, sana po maglaan ng proyektong pang-agrikultura si Senator Kiko sa aming mga katutubo tulad ng pagpapalakas ng aming mga native na punla dahil ito na ang kinagisnan naming itanim,” he said.
“Sa aming pamayanan, isa ako sa trainer ng organic farming at gusto ko sana na mas palakasin pa ito dahil ito ang magdadala sa aming kabuhayan sa kasaganahan,” he added.
Pangilinan, along with his running-mate, Vice President Leni Robredo, earlier signed the Indigenous People’s Covenant, which details the aspirations of the IP community.
This includes the recognition of the important role that indigenous groups play in national development, respect for their right to self-determination, and the call for long and lasting peace in the countryside.