NCIP, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL,
AND THE MANOBO-PULANGIYON ICCs/IPs DISCUSS ANCESTRAL DOMAIN CLAIM AND CONTINUOUS OPERATION OF KIANTEG DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
29 September 2022
The decades-long plight of the Manobo-Pulangiyon Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) of Quezon, Bukidnon reached a significant milestone today in a face-to-face meeting held at the Central Office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
The discussion was requested by the Manobo-Pulangiyon (ICCs/IPs) through the Philippine Office of Amnesty International (AI). As it can be remembered, the plight for land (more or less 1,111.40 hectares) of the Manobo-Pulangiyon ICCs/IPs in Quezon reached national airwaves when the campaign team of then Presidential Candidate Leody De Guzman was shot by security forces under the alleged employment of Kianteg development Corporation (KDC). The same KDC who was the recipient of several NCIP issuances for the past years including a notice to vacate in 2018 upon the expiry of their Forest Land Grazing Management Agreement (FLGMA) permit and a Cease-and-Desist Order (CDO) earlier this year.
NCIP Chairperson Allen A. Capuyan opened and facilitated the discussion. Regional Director Leslie Mae F. Plaza of Region X presented the history of the AD claim as well as all the efforts of NCIP to complete the recognition book of the Manobo-Pulangiyon ICCs/IPs despite the fact that there is no allotted budget for the undertaking; updated the AI and the Community on the status of legal actions on the cases filed by the Community with the assistance of NCIP on the shooting incident that occurred on 19 April 2022; and shared the serving of the CDO on 30 April 2022, led by NCIP with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (PA), and the Provincial and Municipal Local Government Units (LGUs).
The IP Leaders in attendance warmly welcomed the assurance from Chairperson Capuyan that the CADT issuance is already in the pipeline of the Commission en Banc (CEB). The NCIP, in its Provincial, Regional and National levels, will ensure the approval of the recognition book of the Manobo-Pulangiyon ICCs/IPs and the issuance of their Certificate of Ancestral Domains Title (CADT), and, through the Whole-of-Nation Approach (WoNA), will scout an area within the AD Claim of the Manobo-Pulangiyon ICCs/IPs for their temporary settlement while the KDC is still occupying the area covered by the expired FLGMA 122. In case of an overlapping AD claim, NCIP will talk to the adjacent AD leaders for the provision of a temporary settlement within their area, while the case against the KDC is still ongoing because of their petition for certiorari. The NCIP and AI will join forces for a case build-up to investigate the abnormalities raised by the community and to file a case against him/her following an affidavit to be executed by the community.
Taking positive note of the participation of Amnesty International in the discussion, NCIP Executive Director Atty. Caesar M. Ortega invited them to engage in more partnerships with the NCIP in addressing the burning issues of the Indigenous Peoples. The NCIP, AI, and the Manobo-Pulangiyon ICCs/IPs agreed to unite and ask for assistance, particularly from the CHR, and other government agencies to ensure that the rights of the ICCs/IPs will be recognized, respected, protected, and promoted through all legal means. The AI also received three (3) copies of Project Epanaw’s Three (3) Coffee Table Books (CTBs) and the poster containing the 11 Building Blocks for resilient, responsive, and relevant ICCs/IPs in their Ancestral Domains.