House probe on CALTs moved

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Friday, February 14, 2014


THE Committee on Indigenous Peoples postponed the congressional committee hearing on alleged irregularly issued ancestral land titles pending a position coming from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

The NCIP position was sought during Wednesday’s meeting as the committee deliberated on House Resolution 419 authored by Baguio City Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. calling for the investigation of alleged spurious titles issued by the NCIP.

The scheduled committee hearing was postponed for 15 days to give time for invited agencies, most importantly the NCIP, to submit position papers on the alleged irregularities in their issuance of titles.

Department of Agriculture RFU-CAR Regional Director Marilyn Sta. Catalina noted the absence of the position paper of NCIP. "There can't be any settlement without knowing the current position of the commission,” she said.

Aliping then moved for the suspension of the hearing led by Committee chair North Cotabato second district Representative Nancy Catamco pending the submission of the position papers.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan, in his Ugnayang Panlungsod program Wednesday, said the city government has prepared its position paper and is awaiting the next schedule of hearing.

Domogan said the position of the local government remains unchanged as it recognizes legitimate ancestral land claims and titles but remains in contest of titles issued by the NCIP on forest reservations and parks covered by special proclamations even before the passage of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act.

The committee sent the invitation to different concerned agencies on February 3, 2014 and among those invited are Mayor Domogan, DENR Regional Director Paquito Moreno, Department of Agriculture Regional Director Marilyn Sta. Catalina, DOTC Regional Director Celina Claver and NCIP Chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo.

Only Department of Environment and Natural Resources and representatives of the Cariño clan have so far submitted their position papers.

Aliping filed House Resolution 419 last October 22, 2013 to investigate NCIP's issued titles.

Meanwhile, Aliping said the House Special Committee on Bases Conversion will investigate the dispute between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Camp Hay Development Corporation on Wednesday, February 19.

House Resolution 158 moves for the direction of the House of Representatives Special Committee on Bases Conversion to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the dispute between the BCDA and CJHDevCo.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 15, 2014.

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