Piñol offers Badjao kid who graduated Magna Cum Laude a job in the Duterte admin

  • Incoming Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol is offering a job to the Badjao kid who graduated Magna Cum Laude from MSU
  • The job has a specific task of reaching out to his fellow Badjaos and help them feel that the Duterte government cares for them
  • Piñol said he also intends to recruit more members of other indigenous tribes to work in his office

MANILA, Philippines – The 22-year-old Badjao kid who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Tawi Tawi has been offered a job to work in the government by no less than incoming Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

Roben Abdella’s inspirational story was featured in a Rappler article by Jee Y. Geronimo through MSU Tawi-Tawi professor Basil Sali.

On his Facebook post dated June 4, Piñol said he is asking the help of his followers to find Abdella so he can offer him a job once he assumes his post as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the incoming administration.

“Many times in the past, I looked at the kids with sunburned golden hair begging in the streets asking myself whether there is a future for them,” Piñol wrote.

“Reading the story of Roben Abdella, the Badjao kid who graduated Magna Cum Laude, I now believe that there is a way out for them,” the former North Cotabato governor said.

Once he gets in touch with Abdella, Piñol said, he would like to hire the latter in the DA with a specific task – “to reach out to his fellow Badjaos and help them feel that there is a government which cares for them.”

“I believe that Roben Abdella could tell me how President Duterte could help lift the Badjaos from poverty and turn them into productive members of their communities,” he added.

Actually, Piñol revealed, he has already started recruiting young minds from the indigenous tribes in Mindanao including two young accountants from Bilaan and Kaulo, as well as a Muslim Maguindanao woman who will work as one of his undersecretaries.

He also intends to hire members of the Cordilleran tribes – Igorot, Ifugao or Kalinga – to help him in the agricultural concerns in the Mountain Provinces and Mangyan kids for his program to turn Mindoro Island into a key food production area.

“Please allow me to give these kids a chance to prove their worth,” he wrote further. “Who knows? It might just take a Badjao, a Bilaan, a Kaulo, a Maguindanao, an Igorot or a Mangyan kid to find answers to the question why many of our people in the countryside are poor and neglected.”

Abdella, who is a member of Sama Dilaut community (also known as Badjao), struggled over hardships and discrimination to graduate as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education, Major in English from MSU; the very first from his tribe to do so.

He was immediately hired by the school after graduation and is currently pursuing a master’s degree while also a member of the faculty.