Address IP concerns, Duterte urged

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BAGUIO CITY: The Cordillera Peoples Alliance, along with national alliance of indigenous peoples, Katribu, will submit the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Agenda to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte underscoring the issue on titling of ancestral lands and domain, among others.

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The IP Agenda that outlines the major concerns of indigenous peoples in the country is aimed to challenge Duterte to address what his predecessors failed to do.

Its main components are on the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for titling of ancestral lands and domain; Free, Prior and Informed Consent and the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP); Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Indigenous Peoples; The GRP and the MILF Peace Talks and the Bangsa Moro Juridical Entity (BJE) and the GRP and the NDF Peace Talks; Human Rights Violations; Mining and other Development Projects; and Conflicting Laws.

The Agenda also cites cases from various indigenous communities from Luzon to Mindanao indicating that the NCIP, the primary government agency mandated to implement the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA), is not working effectively for IPs.

In many parts of the country, the process that an indigenous community goes through to secure Certificate of Ancestral Domian Title and Certificate of Ancestral Land Title takes tedious and cumbersome, not to mention expensive and burdensome requirements.

It also added that the ADSDPP process is defective, enforced only for compliance, instead of coming up with meaningful plans. Moreover, the implementation of the 2006 FPIC Guidelines by the NCIP caused severe impact on indigenous communities owing to approved environmentally-destructive projects (like large scale mining) without the consent of affected communities.

It also reiterates the call on both parties, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, to recognize the peace pacts forged through history between different Indigenous Peoples and Muslims in Mindanao.

On mining and other destructive projects, the IP Agenda calls on Duterte to declare a moratorium on large-scale mining and revisit existing mining policies to exclude indigenous people’s sacred sites, critical watersheds and sanctuaries.

Lastly, the IP Agenda asks Duterte to probe the cases of extra-judicial killings and other cases of human rights violations committed against indigenous peoples, and go after the perpetrators.

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