Subanons picket NCIP office

"In a decade since the enactment of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) which created this agency, the NCIP has not advanced the cause of the Subanons for self determination over our ancestral domains but instead has caused dissension among our leaders and communities by its actions to facilitate the entry of mining operations in our lands, " lamented Timuay Fernando Mudai of the Pigsalabukan Bangsa Subanon.

The IP leaders proceeded to the NCIP office after they conducted a morning ritual at the Holy Infant Seminary in Ballesteros District where they assembled the day before for a two day gathering to discuss issues affecting Subanon communities. This is a continuation of the "ritual gathering" they held in Paduan, Candiz, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte last September to lament the destruction of Mt. Canatuan by the large scale mining operations of TVI Resource Development Phils, Inc. (TVI-RDPI).

The Subanon leaders submitted several resolutions to the NCIP ordering it to respect and recognize Subanon custom and traditions specially their decision making process in giving consent to any activity to be conducted inside ancestral domains as well as in selection of traditional leaders. One resolution ordered the NCIP to refrain from selecting its own "traditional leaders" in IP communities and organizing leadership structures that are not in accordance with the customs and the will of the community.

While several leaders held a dialogue with NCIP officials, several community members held streamers outside the NCIP office calling for the scrapping of the 2006 NCIP Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Guidelines; non-entry of large scale corporate mining in Subanon Lands; and a reminder to the NCIP to respect IP rights and not mining rights. (Legal Resources Center)