By Teng Lauban Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
Maguindanao — The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (Mipa-Barmm) recently assessed and evaluated ancestral domains in the province in an activity held recently at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in North Upi, Maguindanao.
With the theme, “Convergence for Empowerment Towards United Indigenous People in the Bangsamoro Government,” the Mipa convened the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMR), tribal leaders, project officers from different areas in Maguindanao, and other stakeholders.
The Mipa wants to underscore the subjects on ancestral domain as one of the underpinnings of IP rights to be included in the proposed IP Code.
Mipa-Barmm Minister Melanio Ulama said the activity “serves to clarify the duties and functions of the IPMR and Tribal Council members, and address some contentious issues on IPRA and on land disputes.”
Ulama narrated the upshots of his people’s collective struggle to advance their rights and attain peace through non-violent means. He said the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law is a way for the Bangsamoro people and the Indigenous People to pursue their ideals for the betterment of Mindanao through peace and unity.
Meanwhile, North Upi Municipal Councilor Wilfredo Ibañez challenged the authority to reform the regional government so as to enable it to prevent conflicts and anomalies which result from abuse of authority. He urged the Indigenous People and the rest of the Bangsamoro to “make way for a mutual trust and understanding.” (with reports from bpi barmm)