Sunday, September 22, 2019

Lumad chief says BBL must uphold indigenous people's rights

MINDANAO Indigenous People Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD) said rights of indigenous peoples (IPs) should be recognized and enforced once the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be implemented in Mindanao.

The BBL draft that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 17 was finally transmitted to Congress last August 17.

MIPCPD chairperson Datu Joel Unad, during a media conference held at Habi At Kape Abreeza Mall on Wednesday, said non-Moro IPs in Mindanao is supportive to the proposed Bangsamoro government except that they want BBL to be non-regressive in the recognition of their rights, in the protection of their interests, and in the promotion of their welfare.

Unad said IP tribes want to assert the observance of the four bundles of Lumad rights under the BBL - rights on ancestral domain, governance, economy, and justice system.

MIPCPD, Unad said, even created the Mindanao Indigenous People Legislative Assembly (Mipla-BBL), which is composed of 400 representatives of non-Moro IP tribes from Mindanao, to surface the non-Moro IP-related issues and concerns relative to the BBL.

"Even though the draft is now passed to the Congress, Mipla-BBL will have to find ways to address certain provisions in the draft that may affect the non-Moro IPs," he said.

Unad said MIPCPD and Mipla-BBL are hoping that politicians sympathetic to the call of IPs will help them in the legislative provisions of the BBL to assure that the rights of the IPs will be protected under the proposed law.

He added that the participation of IP tribes in the processing of BBL is important as many of them live in the Autonomous Region of Moro Mindanao (ARMM) where the law will take place.

MIPCPD will be having a Mindanao Indigenous People Conventions on August 29 to 31 at Felis Resort Complex, Matina, Davao City and will be attended by 600 IPs from different tribe to discuss the matters regarding BBL provisions.
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