DATU Rody Mande, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory representative (IPMR) of the City Council of Davao, observed that there is rampant buying and selling of ancestral domains in Davao City, particularly in Marilog District.

During the Kapehan on May 2, 2022 at SM City Davao, Mande said there are already indigenous peoples in the lowlands that have been displaced due to the selling of ancestral domains.

“Usa kini sa mga medyo hagit karun sa akong paglingkod sa Davao City, kung paano sya ma-stop, dako ni nga problema kay daghang tao mabanggaan especially taga city kay daghan na og nanaka na didto (This is one of the uphill challenges as a councilor (IPMR) of Davao City, on how to stop this and it is a big problem because there are lot of people who may not agree or is against of the plans that we are going to make since there are already occupants from the city),” Mande said.

Mande urged the Ancestral Domain Management Office (Admo), which is composed of Indigenous Political Structure (IPS) of selected tribal leaders, not to deal with the buyers to eradicate the issue of selling ancestral domains.

“Naa gud man dealer, so kana pud ang among problema tungod siguro kay dili anad og kwarta ang tribo so pag-abot sa kwarta mabaliskad ang pang isip (The dealers are also a problem. The tribal leaders are not used to dealing with transactions with money, and when they encounter such, it could affect how they decide on such matters),” Mande added.

Mande also said that seven leaders have been killed due to buying and selling of ancestral domains.

“Ang subo lang karun, until now, wala gihapon hustisya, walay laing ground kung dili naay makapalit, naka men in uniform pa ang ubang nakapalit, nga syempre malain nga nganong gibaligyaan pero dili man diay iyaha to, so kung kinsa pa ang dili malain nga million gud (It is so sad that until now justice have not been served, there’s no other grounds for this but the buying and selling (of ancestral domain), there are buyers who are even men-in-uniform that we’ve been offended because they have bought land that is not even their (sellers) own, costing millions),” he said.

The councilor plans to gather all the tribal leaders to address the issue on the buying and selling of ancestral lands.

The Indigenous Peoples have the right to their ancestral domains according to Republic Act 8371, an act to recognize, protect and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous people, creating a national commission of indigenous people, establishing implementing mechanisms, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.