MANILA – Indigenous Peoples’ Communities (IPs) on Wednesday 5 August cited the achievements and challenges since the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in 1997, in commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.
In a web forum hosted by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), its Chairman, Secretary Allen Capuyan, cited some of the recent major initiatives such as the development of a master plan and strategic property plan. intellectual property containing a roadmap to strengthen the recognition, respect, promotion and protection of the four sets of rights; enhanced implementation of the Ancestral Domain Food Security Framework; the creation of a working group in partnership with the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate human rights violations and abuses against IPs; and comprehensive documentation of the cultural profile of 132 intellectual property groups in the country.
NCIP facilitated dialogue between intellectual property communities across the country with representatives of the United Nations and the international community at the forum â€œVoices from the Ancestral Domains: Fulfilling Rights and Addressing Challengesâ€.
The web forum also showcased the issues and challenges that Indigenous communities continue to face.
NCIP said it has pushed IP communities to speak directly with the international community, as IPs feel they have never been truly represented in the speeches.
Customary laws state that only the tribal council or tribal chiefs can speak on behalf of the tribe.
NCIP said the IP communities and leaders in attendance were grateful for the first time they felt they had the opportunity to speak out about the atrocities and issues that permeate their own ancestral domains, instead of stories. told by non-IPs and non-settlers from the ancestral domain.
Some of the intellectual property representatives who were in the forum were the families of the victims of summary executions and murders by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), designated as a terrorist group. abroad, by the United States and the European Union in 2002 and 2005, respectively.
A number of reactors in IP communities have themselves been victims of radicalization and incitement to violent extremism, forced labor or slavery, and various forms of exploitation in so-called ‘alternative schools’. Â»For PAs.
“Not just on paper”
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Francisco Cali Tzay commended NCIP for organizing the web forum and welcomed the opportunity to hear directly from communities and IP leaders themselves. same.
He commended the Philippines for being one of the few countries to recognize the human rights of indigenous peoples “not only on paper” but also through the granting of certificates of ancestral domain titles for both ancestral territories. terrestrial and aquatic.
The special rapporteur underlined the importance of ancestral domains which are integral to the realization of cultural and other human rights of IPs.
A strong advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples who has spoken actively on intellectual property issues in his country, Cali, while citing his support for a peaceful “struggle” or for the defense of rights, said the UN does not not support armed struggle as a solution to a problem and is firmly against all terrorist activities.
IP master plan
Meanwhile, United Nations Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez acknowledged several concrete initiatives of NCIP under Capuyan.
He identified as some of the measures that the UN would like to support and include in a joint program with the Philippine government the establishment of an investigative working group and the intellectual property master plan that meet the needs on the ground.
He said that sustainable development in the Philippines would not be conceivable without addressing the issues of indigenous peoples and communities.
Gonzalez also said it was unfortunate that the armed groups did not respect the ceasefire declarations by the UN Secretary-General and President Rodrigo Duterte, which could have been a concrete way of supporting and d ” help indigenous peoples affected by the pandemic.
In response to a question on the CHR’s position on the ongoing recruitment of IP minors by the CPP-NPA-NDF to join the armed struggle, Commissioner Pimentel-Gana said that the CHR denounces this kind of abuse against IPs and assured the public that he will investigate all complaints filed and do his best to seek justice for the victims.
She said the CHR is in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with the NCIP to facilitate better coordination on IP human rights issues.
In their call to action, IP leaders and representatives called for the acceleration of the implementation of the IPRA and the conduct of thorough and fair community investigations into the abuses and violations perpetrated by the CPP. -NPA-NDF, in particular against IPs in Mindanao. .
Amid an alarming trend of misrepresentation and disinformation on intellectual property issues by certain groups and non-state actors, intellectual property leaders have called for due diligence and called on the UN and the international community to engage directly with IP communities and consider their voices to gain a truly informed picture of the IP human rights situation in the Philippines.
Speakers at the forum included UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Francisco Cali Tzay, UN Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez, Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana and President of the House of Representatives of the Committee on Indigenous Cultural Communities. IP Allen Jesse Mangaoang, among others.
Representatives of United Nations agencies, international organizations, the diplomatic corps, government agencies, academia and non-governmental organizations also attended the forum.
The Indigenous Peoples Web Forum can be accessed at https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=586338328744911&id=2008698719356500. (RP)