Aytas representatives here


By Leon Harrison

PERTH - Indigenous people from the Philippines met with Aboriginal people here on April 12 to discuss their shared struggle to regain their land.

Both Aboriginal people and the Aytas people have been denied control of their land following foreign invasions. The Aytas have retreated further and further into the Zambales Mountains near Manila, but last year even that refuge was denied them when the eruption of Mount Pinatubo made their land uninhabitable. Since then, the Aytas have been fighting for land elsewhere to enable them to continue their traditional culture and keep their families together.

Ben Jugatan and Palawig Cabalic came to Perth to thank Australians for aid given since the eruption. Aboriginal activist Robert Bropho met the Aytas at Lockridge campsite.

Speaking through an interpreter, Cabalic said, "I would like to tell people here to be in solidarity with Aboriginal people so all indigenous people can unite and get the return of their ancestral land".

"People like us have to get together and fight to regain our land", Bropho said. "This shows that indigenous people can come together. We're the last mob of people who are going to save our beginnings."

Jugatan and Cabalic went on to say that the volcano had done one good thing for them - freeing thousands of acres of their ancestral lands which were formerly occupied by the US Subic and Clark bases.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.