Thursday, February 14, 2008

If I May Say Something About the IP's...

February 13, 2008 was rather historic for the indigenous peoples -- or aborigines -- of Australia. It was on this date that the Prime Minister of the Aussies, in behalf of the government that he leads at present, has apologized to the IP's of the Down Under because of the First Step. TV footages showed manicured green lawn with lighted bulbs aligned to form the message: Sorry for the First Step.
What is/was the First Step?
It refers to the intervention of the Aussies, intending to bring about what was perceived then -- i.e., during such historical point -- as beneficial to the aborigines. On account of the abject conditions of the IP's of Australia, the government moved -- or authorized the move -- to "confiscate" the children of the natives of Australia from their families, place them in separate communes where it was thought they could be reared better and educated better.
Studies about the effect or results of the so-called First Step pointed to social trauma of different sorts that have been endured by generations of the Australian IP's.
In any case, what matters now is that the government has acknowledged its wrong in the past. And the confession of its sins is done, according to PM Rudd, in view of achieving the healing of the past as together the Australian society moves on -- the IP's and the non-IP's together.
This to me is extraordinary opus coming from a government.
As of this posting, I cannot but think of the Mangyans of Occidental Mindoro.
Well, at present, there is an impending -- or it must be on-going now -- military operations in the bondocks of San Jose, right in the ancestral domain of the Mangyans. Hundreds of NPA cadres are reportedly seen in the area, thus provoking the Philippine Army to prepare for a possible clash.
Obviously, we in Mindoro are still far from acknowledging the wrongs that we have inflicted against the IP's. For until now, we are still in the process of inflicting them with harm..
Masasabi ko na kahit hindi na muna sana mag-sorry dahil sa mga nagawang hindi maganda sa mga Mangyan; sana man lang matigilan na ang kasalukuyang pagkakamali laban sa kanila...

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