Leaders of three indigenous groups, the Aetas, Maharlikas and Alimaongs pledge support for Perlas
With Nicanor Perlas‘ clear platform on Indigenous People and the respect of ancestral domain he is drawing support from both Muslims and various indigenous groups. Here is an article from the Inquirer.
LEADERS of three indigenous groups — the Aetas, Maharlikas and Alimaongs — have pledged their support for environmentalist presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas.
“We will live and let die for Nicky Perlas,” Marlon Sayson, Maharlika for Cultural Recovery chief of management services told reporters yesterday.
The leaders, who claim he has millions of supporters in the Visayas and Mindanao, briefly met with Perlas at the arrival area of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Sayson, Aeta chieftain Manuel Sanger, Alimaong representative Floro Velarde, and some Cebu-based supporters exchanged with Perlas a “salute, by putting their right hands on their chests.
“This is very touching. This is highly significant. The indigenous people are the original residents of our country. They have the purity and honesty as a people,” said Perlas “I am humbled by their total trust in my candidacy.”
Perlas continued his Cebu campaign with a lecture on “Climate change and the future of the Philippines” at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in downtown Cebu City.
After his Cebu stop-over, he boarded a ferry to Bohol to meet with other leaders of indigenous groups.
Perlas, an environmental activist, is running under the Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan. He has been campaigning without bodyguards in different parts of the country, accompanied only by a small group of supporters.
Sayson, who claims to have a following of 7 million Maharlikas from the Visayas and Mindanao – 200,000 in Cebu alone – said that his group perceives 2010 as the year for indigenous people.
He said they consider Perlas as the “final medium who would help their people.”
Velarde, who represents the Supreme Council of the Datus Alimaong, which is also called the Holy Warriors or native warriors, said there are 3 million Alimaongs in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“In Cebu, we have 25,000 members and 10 tribal councils,” he said.
Sanger, on the other hand, heads only 57 indigenous families based in Naga City, south of Cebu.