Vice President and United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate Jejomar “Jojo” Binay has vowed to attend to the needs of indigenous people (IP) and extend help to lift them from poverty.
“Ang problema natin noon at problema hanggang ngayon ay kahirapan. Mahirap pa ho ang mga IP. Kawawa naman kayo. Hindi kayo nakatatanggap ng mga suporta na kailangan ng isang tao [Our problem then and our problem today is poverty. The IP are still poor. It’s a pity. You don’t get government support]” Binay said on Tuesday.
“Kayo ay nakaligtaan na ng halos lahat ng namahala sa pamahalaan. Pero ngayon hindi na kayo makakaligtaan, kasi si Jojo Binay ay IP rin [You have been neglected by those in government. But under my administration, that would not happen, because Jojo Binay belongs to the IP],” he added.
Binay’s mother hailed from Cabagan, Isabela, home of the Ibanags.
The UNA standard-bearer said that as member of an indigenous group, he will treat fellow IPs as Filipinos.
“Kayo ay tatratuhin ko bilang Pilipino. Hindi po kayo dapat maging second-class citizens [I will treat you as Filipinos. You don’t have to be second-class citizens],” he added.
Binay noted that when he was still the housing czar, the government was able to provide homes to indigenous communities.
According to a report from the National Housing Authority, the housing sector provided 3,092 homes to IP families, including 148 units for Aetas in Pampanga.