By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) in two Capiz towns threw their support to 2022 presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo.
Hundreds of ICC/IP elders from 34 Pan-ayanon and Panay Bukidnon ICCs and IPs in Tapaz and Jamindan, Capiz revealed a signed resolution and manifesto of support for the vice president during the “Robredo People’s Council” convention in Roxas City.
The manifesto is based on their consideration of her advocacy in capacitating ICCs and IPs on their right to ancestral domains, particularly on the smooth and speedy processing of their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).
They mentioned their “strong aspiration” for the fast issuance of their CADT “to stop the illegal intrusions and the multiple grave violations committed against ICCs/IPs’ Ancestral Domain”.
They also cited the CADTs issued for ICCs and IPs in the neighboring towns of Calinog, Iloilo and Dumarao, Capiz.
“[L]arge areas of military reservation are found within the Ancestral Domain of Tapaz & Jamindan ICCs/IPs which pose impediments in the processing of CADT which has no Presidential Amendment until now. Tapaz and Jamindan were outrun by their neighbors in CADT issuance having Brgy. Garangan, Brgy. Masaroy, and Brgy. Agcalaga in Calinog, Iloilo (already) issued their CADT last January 23, 2005 and the Ati ICCs/IPs of Dumarao having their CADT approved during the time of President Corazon Aquino and was issued just recently,” the group said in their manifesto.
They hoped that Robredo would make this happen for them, citing her advocacy for the proposed National Land Use Act and her record as a human rights lawyer.
For the IP leaders, Robredo would be the staunchest advocate among 2022 presidential aspirants to uphold Republic Act No. 8731 (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act).
“Pan-ayanon and Panay Bukidnon ICCs/IPs have great confidence in the Leadership of Presidential Aspirant Len Robredo by which upon the framework and mechanisms of NLUA enabled to push for the review of contract for the elimination of all military reservations found within the Ancestral Domain of ICC/IPs nationwide to ensure for full utilization of all measures in the process of issuance of CADT,” they added.
In exchange for their support to Robredo and her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, they posed the following conditions:
– Ensure the immediate amendment of Presidential Proclamation 67 for smooth process and issuance of CADT and other related issuances that may follow thereafter in the Pan-ayanon and Panay Bukidnon ICCs/IPs’ Ancestral Domain;
– Appoint Ricardo Camarig Jr., a Pan-ayanon and Panay Bukidnon ICCs/IPs’ leader for over 30 years as Commissioner for the Visayas at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples; and
– Provide projects to enrich and develop all Ancestral Domains and assistance for socio-economic and political welfare of Pan-ayanon and Panay Bukidnon ICCs/IPs.
The Tapaz and Jamindan ICCs and IPs claim to have over 28,000 settlers in 28 ICCs and IPs in the former town and 6 in the latter town.