MP Melanio Ulama of Ministry of Indigenous People Affairs (MIPA) speaks during the culmination day of IP month at the BARMM Coumpound, Cotabato City. On the presidential table are officials/ representatives of the BARMM Region

BARMM IPs celebrate culmination day of IP month

BARMM COMPOUND, COTABATO CITY- The Culmination Day of Indigenous Peoples’ Month celebration held at SKCC, BARMM Compound, Cotabato City October 29. 2019 was highlighted by colorful tribal attire, cultural dance, and tasty home-made delicacies.  

The annual celebration was attended by different Indigenous People from different areas of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), some of them dwelling in mountainous areas and living along the sea-shores in the Moro gulf and Sulu sea.  

Brother Saliakram Mardan Adduh, a youth leader and Jurist Doctor from Tandubas island municipality of Tawi-Tawi, and a full-blood Sama-Bajau led the Muslim Invocation along with other IP chieftains and  a priest by invoking divine aid and intervention in the pursuit of harmonious coexistence, peace and development in the BARMM and in the other part of the world.  

Sama-Bajau Youth Leader Saliakram Adduh of Tawi-Tawi (sitting left) along with other participating IPs from different provinces and areas in the BARMM 

In his opening remarks, Hon. Minister Melanio Ulama, of Ministry of Indigenous People Affairs (MIPA) expressed his propounded gratitude for the IPs participation in the BARMM Government. He also narrated the classic chronology of IPs ancestry with their Bangsamoro Muslim brothers. 

“The IPs, and the Moro people should embrace each other as we belong to the same root, and were both victims of marginalization for quite a long time,” Ulama said.

“I knew that our Brother Muslims did not expropriated our ancestral lands from us, at the same time, the IPs did not expropriate the ancestral lands of our Muslim Brothers,” Ulama added.   

Some Parliament Members of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), BARMM Ministers, or their representatives, delegates from BARMM Provinces, and IPs representatives manifested their unwavering support to IP s undertakings. 

Mr. Melham Ahang from island province of Tawi-Tawi who represented the Sama-Bajau tribe said in his message of support that, “The Sama-Bajau of Tawi-Tawi have also participated in the Bangsamoro Struggle for right to self-determination, and freedom along with other fellow IPs in Mindanao.” 

The event was also highlighted with different activities such as cultural dance and musical competition participated by the IPs tribes who attended the culmination day.

The MIPA and organizers of the event expressed their gratitude to participating IPs tribes, to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) who have been assisting the MIPA in its in endeavors.