First Aeta lawyer, friend invited to UN meet, but...
- Ding Cervantes () - July 6, 2002 - 12:00am
ANGELES CITY- Twenty-seven-year-old Wayda Cosme, who made history by being the first Aeta lawyer when she passed last year’s bar exams, and a friend have been invited to attend the United Nations’ 20th session working group on indigenous peoples in Geneva, Switzerland on July 22-27.

Cosme, who now works at the state-owned Clark Development Corp. (CDC), and Chito Balintay of the Pagkakaisa ng Aeta ng Pinatubo (PAP) cooperative in Zambales, plan to speak out about the plight of their tribal kinsmen on such issues as ancestral domain, human rights, education, livelihood and discrimination.

Except that they are not sure of making it to Geneva. They don’t have $1,500 each to take them to the Swiss capital and back home.

"The two are well-prepared to speak before the world’s largest gathering of indigenous peoples, which seeks to collectively resolve the problems that cultural communities continue to be confronted with worldwide," said Guy Hilbero of the Environmental Protection of Asia (EPA).

Cosme, featured in an issue of People Asia last year, took up law at the Harvardian Colleges in San Fernando City in Pampanga. A United States-based religious group, in coordination with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), supported her schooling.

In her interview with People Asia, Cosme said she will get married only after she is able to help Aeta communities in her home-province of Zambales and other parts of Central Luzon fight for their rights, particularly on their ancestral domain claims.

Hilbero said EPA and the Swiss Juhldahl Foundation are still raising funds for the airplane tickets of Cosme and Balintay. The foundation, however, will take care of their accommodations in Geneva.

"Government agencies and private firms are welcome to extend help for the fares of Cosme and Balintay," Hilbero said.

This will be the first time for Cosme to go abroad. Balintay had attended two similar UN summits.

A UNITED STATES AETA CENTRAL LUZON CHITO BALINTAY OF THE PAGKAKAISA CLARK DEVELOPMENT CORP COSME COSME AND BALINTAY GUY HILBERO OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF ASIA HARVARDIAN COLLEGES PEOPLE ASIA
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with