Defending the Ati

The Philippine island of Boracay is a tourist paradise; it is also the scene of abuse and violence suffered by its indigenous people, the Ati. The church in the Philippines is by their side to defend their rights and perhaps protect their very existence, said Bishop Sergio Utleg, president of the Philippine’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples. The bishop spoke on Feb. 22 following the murder of Dexter Condez, an Ati leader. A security guard for a chain of hotels in Boracay has been charged in the slaying. Bishop Utleg said the killing “highlights what is happening in that area. Due to extensive tourism marketing, these tribal people...are threatened, abused, deprived of their rights. Their land is occupied, and the goal is to expel them altogether.” Similar incidents have occurred in other parts of the country, he said. The church is on the side of the indigenous, the bishop said, and it asks the government “to protect the dignity and rights of these people.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis has appointed 16 members (eight men and eight women) to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 17, 2018
This time the victims themselves are not having it. From the moment the first shots rang out, they captured the horror and broadcast it, forced the nation to confront it and talk about it.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 16, 2018

Given the moment we are in, you might think a lot of shows on television would be trying to talk about current events or “America” in some way. But in point of fact, there aren’t that many. And even fewer are doing it well.

Jim McDermottFebruary 16, 2018
A conversation with Liel Leibovitz and Stephanie Butnick on faith, fasting and podcasting
Olga SeguraFebruary 16, 2018