Imbued with the value of strong leadership, hard work and enterprise, Mayor John Dalipe appeared elated as he welcomed to his office the members of the Zamboanga City Indigenous Council of Leaders during their courtesy visit to City Hall this morning.
Young but stern, Dalipe was pleased to see that the city’s different tribes are united and organized for their own good and welfare with the support of the government, noting that Zamboanga is a culturally diverse city.
As in the policy of the state, Dalipe said his administration recognizes and promotes the rights of the indigenous cultural communities, and vowed that the city government under his administration will support the programs and activities of the IPs through their representative in the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
In turn, the ZC Indigenous Council of Leaders, which is composed of tribal leaders from different callings, committed to support Dalipe’s leadership in pushing the city’s inclusive socio-economic development.
Amilpasa “Caloy” Bandaying, a known IP leader and advocate in Zamboanga City, facilitated the group’s courtesy call on Mayor Dalipe.
Zamboanga City’s indigenous peoples are mostly Subanen, Yakan, Sama, Sama Banguingui, Sama Laut, Badjao and Kalibugan. Bandaying, a former executive assistant on Muslim Affairs, said the IPs were happy to meet and exchange pleasantries with Mayor Dalipe.-(Vic Larato)