Robin Padilla hears Teduray and Lambangian peoples’ 26 year-old clamor for ancestral land recognition

Senator Robin Padilla, currently the chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities and Muslim Affairs, opened his doors to leaders of the indigenous Teduray and Lambangian people from Mindanao who sought his committee’s investigation into the 26-year running application for ancestral domain recognition.

In a courtesy call facilitated by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples last December 12, a delegation of the Teduray Lambangian Ancestral Domain Claim (TLADC) met with Sen. Padilla to explain how the continuing denial of their claim to their ancestral domain have displaced their peoples and relegated them to live in hazardous areas. This became evident when the recent onslaught of Typhoon Paeng caused deadly landslides.

“We thank Sen. Padilla for the productive conversation on the status of the Teduray and Lambangian peoples’ ancestral domain claim, and the issues and concerns at ground zero.[i] The protection of our lands, lives, and livelihoods are crucial for our pathway towards genuine sustainable development and climate resilience,” said Timuay Alim Bandara, head claimant of TLADC.

According to the latest data of Task Force Barat, a formation of Teduray, Lambangian, and Dulangan Manobo people responding to the crises left by ‘Paeng’, a total of 2,025 families from their tribes were affected, resulting in 46 dead and 6 missing.

The issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) for the Teduray and Lambangian has been denied for more than two and a half decades. Its latest snag is a resolution by the Bangsamoro Parliament issuing a cease and desist order to the CADT application process as part of the complexities of the Bangsamoro transition.

For its part, the legal, research, and policy institution Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) urged the Senate to push through with a special investigation in aid of legislation.

“We urge our honorable lawmakers to probe into the persisting delays of CADT issuance for the Teduray and Lambangian people with the aim of fast-tracking the process. This is a right ensured under IPRA,” said Atty. Ryan Roset, Direct Legal Services Coordinator of LRC.

“The stakes have never been this high as our communities are now chronically displaced amid growing frequency and intensity of climate change-induced disasters. This adds to the already mounting pressure of land conflicts that we face,” ended Bandara.#

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