BAGUIO CITY: Thousands of Igorots in different parts of the world are up in arms against Sen. Richard Gordon for his alleged racial slur against their fellow Igorots, whom he described as “beggars.”

The viral video of Gordon describing Igorots as such circulated on social media recently and earned the ire of netizens who bashed the senator for his unfair remarks against indigenous peoples

(IPs) during a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Government Corporation and Public Enterprises in relation to a proposed bill that seeks to create the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay Development Authority.

“You know where the Igorots are? They are now going down like the Aetas to make palimos (beg for alms) because Baguio is already deteriorated,” the senator told former La Trinidad mayor Edna Tabanda during the public hearing.

Some netizens criticized Gordon for using such uncalled for remarks that depicted the Igorots as beggars when, in fact, many of them have gone down to the lowlands and bought pieces of property, which they are now tilling.

Gordon made the remarks when Tabanda was defending the rights of the IPs over their ancestral domain and introduced herself as an Igorot.

The netizens also criticized Rep. Mark Go for his failure to defend the Igorots during the public hearing as he did nothing to correct Gordon and prevent Tabanda from being unduly interrupted.

The netizens urged local governments in the Cordillera Administrative Region to pass legislation to denounce Gordon’s malicious allegations against Igorots.

They said it was unfortunate that Igorots were being likened to beggars when most of them are actually learned and professionals who are gainfully employed locally and overseas.