Mamanwa leaders nix Manobo ancestral domain claim in Surigao Norte

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/22 Oct) — Anticipating an emerging conflict, Mamanwa tribal leaders across Surigao del Norte issued a resolution requesting the government line agencies not to recognize the Manobo tribe as the claimant of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title 048.

The 18 tribal leaders in Surigao del Norte issued their resolution on September 2, 2013 before the provincial office of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and furnished copies to different government line agencies including the office of Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas.

The two-page document was obtained by MindaNews from Vicente Baldoza,  provincial director of NCIP-Surigao del Norte.

The Mamanwa leaders’ resolution was issued on the same day the Manobo began their barricade at the causeway of Adnama Mining Resources Inc., (AMRI) in Barangay Urbiztondo in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

The barricade of the Manobos were led by “Datu Mansa” Samuel D. Sumanda along with Datu Rommel Dawog and Datu Cesar Bat-ao. They were joined by some 700 Manobos from Pakwan, Lanuza Surigao del Sur.

The Mamanwas hold CADT 048, which covers 48,870 hectares, comprises five towns in Surigao del Norte — Claver, Gigaquit, Bacuag, Tubod and Alegria including a portion of Kitcharao town in Agusan del Norte.

The Mamanwas got their CADT on September 22, 2006.

“The Manobo tribe has no right to ask for one per cent royalty share and other benefits from the mining companies operating within the CADT 048 which is outside  their jurisdiction,” the Mamanwas’ resolution, written in Cebuano, said.

It added that the Manobos’ barricade was without basis  since the the holder of CADT 048 has a memorandum of agreement with AMRI.

Sixteen of the 18 Mamanwa leaders signed or affixed their thumb prints on the resolution: Datu Emeliano W. Gedi of Katikuyan Camam-onan; Datu Alicio G. Patac of Urbiztondo, Claver; Datu Reynante B. Buklas of Taganito, Claver; Datu Alfredo P. Surigao of San Juan in Algeria; Bae Arlinda B. Suriaco of Camp Edward Tribal Community; Samuel Aidao of Budlingin Tribal Community; Datu Nikoy Surigao of Baliw Tribal; Datu Enrico Olise of Pohogan Tribal Community; Bae Joan B. Hukman of Palilihan Tribal Community; Datu Gene Kalisangan of Bongogon Tribal Community; Datu Embat Dayong of Mahayahay, Kitcharao Tribal Community; Datu Juan Biog of Bliss, Kitcharao Tribal Community; Datu Arnel Nayer of Kamunuhan Tribal Community; Datu Ferdinand Lebrigo.
Only Jerry Calinawan of Puyawon Tribal Community and Datu Enrico Olise did not sign the resolution.

Manobo Datu Samuel Sumanda said  he got the map of  CADT 048 and noted that his ancestral domain claim in Surigao del Norte is outside CADT 048 but he alleged that AMRI’s mining operations are within his claimed ancestral domain.

He told MindaNews in his house in Barangay Puyat in Carmen, Surigao del Sur that he applied for an ancestral domain title over an area straddling Carrascal, Surigao del Sur and Surigao City covering at least 80,000 hectares.

“That includes the coastal areas and the island of Nonoc and portion of Dapa,” he said, adding his ancestors had settled in Barangay Anomar in Surigao City and in Gigaquit town in Surigao del Norte.

Sumanda led the group in a barricade at the causeway of the AMRI from September 2, 2013 to October 5, paralyzing  the operations of the mining firm. Sumanda’s group is demanding a one per cent royalty share from AMRI’s operations since 2011.

Sumanda is now facing charges of grave coercion, filed before he Provincial Prosecution Office in Surigao del Norte.

Mario Labaw, a Mamanwa from Alegria town in Surigao del Norte told MindaNews that Manobo tribe led by Sumanda has ill motives.

Labaw was in the NCIP provincial office in Surigao City along with other leaders from  Mamanwa communities in Surigao del Norte for a meeting on how to protect their ancestral domain claim which they say has been “invaded” by the Manobo.

He said they have a CADT but another tribe is allegedly claiming it.

Labaw expressed disappointment that some officials in government vouched for the legitimacy of the Manobos’ claim. Surigao del Norte is not part of the Manobos’ ancestral domain, he said.

Lawyer Carey Lozada said the barricade of the Manobos is a form of blackmail.

“Samukon para mobayad na lang bisan way basihan. Kanus-a man nga naay Monobo sa Surigao? Karon pa nga naay mina? Kini pod mga politiko saaran lang nga bahinan sa bayad moindorse sab dayon” (Create trouble so that they would be paid even without basis? Since when did Surigao have Manobos? Now that there is mining? These politicians who have been promised a share of the pay, are also endorsing their alleged claim), he posted on Facebook. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)