Indigenous peoples hit BTA rule on ancestral domain | Inquirer News

Indigenous peoples hit BTA rule on ancestral domain

/ 05:27 PM October 13, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The indigenous peoples in Maguindanao reacted to a recent Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) resolution asking the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to keep its hands off from the processing and granting of certificates of ancestral domain titles (CADTs) in Maguindanao.

Timuay Santos Unsad, representative of the Timuay Justice and Governance of the Teduray and Lambangian tribe of Maguindanao, said the resolution asking the NCIP to cease and desist from delineating lands and from the processing of CADT in Maguindanao would further delay the granting of the title to their ancestral domain claim — which covers 208,258 hectares in eight towns of Maguindanao and six villages of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and some 14,000 hectares of water.

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Unsad said that the Teduray and Lambangian people, who started processing their claim in 2014, had already completed all the required documents in August this year and were already waiting to be granted their CADT by NCIP.

He said the Teduray and Lambangian communities had already sent their letters both to the NCIP and to the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro to protest the BTA resolution.

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“If it pushes through, the resolution will be a continuation of the historical injustice committed against us since hundreds of years ago,” Unsad said. “The former oppressed now turning against us.”

The BTA approved on Sept. 25 a resolution protesting the land delineation conducted by the NCIP in Maguindanao and urging the NCIP to “cease and desist” from it and from issuing certificates of ancestral domain titles in the province which falls under the jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The resolution also calls for the setting up of the Ministry on Indigenous Peoples in the BARMM to take over what used to be NCIP’s task of delineating lands, conducting cadastral surveys and processing CADT to indigenous peoples in the autonomous region.

Unsad said, however, that the process would still take a long time because BTA still woudl have to come up with a law that would adopt the IPRA in the Bangsamoro.

“Although we already have a draft [of the Bangsamoro IP law], the process will take so long that it will further delay the granting of our CADT,” he said.

“Why can’t we just follow the IPRA and recognize the NCIP’s authority to grant us the CADT? After all the IPRA is a national law, which could not be superseded by a local law?” he added.

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