[NEWS] Talaandigs send two students to law school

(This is an alternative and pro-active move for the IP community to do. Most of the lawyers in Bukidnon really are not familiar with IP customary laws and practices.Also, they are not particular of the issues and concerns of the IPs especially in engaging with implications of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and other laws that closely deal with their territories like the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act. NIPAS goes head on with IPRA, especially on ancestral domains claims because most of these areas are covered by NIPAS under the DENR facilitation of the multi-sectoral Protected Area Management Board (PAMP).

DAVAO CITY (Courtesy of MindaNews/31 July) — Soon, they can fight for their
ancestral domain with lawyers from their own tribe.

The Talaandig tribe in Lantapan, Bukidnon has sent two of its sons to
Law school at Xavier University in neighboring Cagayan de Oro City. They are the first Talaandig law students.

Datu Migketay Saway, Talaandig chieftain said Sagyawan Tumimanwa, 21
and Mutikas Lleses, 20 started their study of law this semester.

Sagyawan told MindaNews in a telephone interview said they need to
study law because many lawyers turn down their tribe’s request for counsel on matters like ancestral domain issues. Most of the lawyers, he said, are not familiar with the indigenous peoples’ customary laws and their issues.

Both students finished Sociology at the Bukidnon State College in
Malaybalay City.

Sending the two young men to law school is an investment for the
future, Saway said, adding the tribe’s struggle for recognition, self-determination and management of natural resources as well as that of the rest of indigenous peoples in Mindanao, still has a long way to go.

Saway said the tribe had difficulties attending to requirements imposed
by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in processing their ancestral domain claim due to technical and financial constraints.

Saway said indigenous peoples have to invest in educating the youth
both in formal and indigenous means to help empower them.

Saway also cited the need to engage the tribe’s “young blood” to
re-learn their history. Saway said much of the problems of Lumads in Mindanao are rooted in forgetting its history and culture.

“The solutions could be just in the indigenous community’s backyard
with its own customary practices and laws, and not outside,” he said. (Walter I.
Balane/MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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