In 2017, the Commission on Human Rights conducted a nationwide inquiry on the human rights situation of Filipino Indigenous Peoples. It covered 6 ethnographic regions and involved 66 tribes.
Based on the tallied results of the 2017 IP National Human Rights Inquiry conducted by the CHR, the overall IP Rights Index showed that most support from state duty bearers were in the rights associated with promoting & respecting rights to social justice and human rights receiving an index score of 2.1 out of 3 or partially complying. State duty bearers action to Right t Self Governance & Empowerment receive a lower partially complying score of 2.05. The lowest index score by duty bearers of 1.95 or almost non compliance was receive on actions for promoting and fulfilling right to ancestral domain and land. This is consistent with the NCIP data in 2017 showing that there are only 206 CADT (Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles) issued covering 5,110,393.22 hectares with a mere 1,108,223 individual IP beneficiaries, a low 7.92% coverage of the estimated 14M population of Filipino IPs nationwide.
Details of the findings from this national inquiry may be summarized as follows:
A. On right to ancestral domains and lands
1. Joint Administrative Order Number 1 Series of 2012 constitutes a violation of IP rights to be awarded Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) that sets the metes and bounds of their domains and allows them to assert rights within those boundaries against those operating to deny them the exercise of priority rights in developing said domains.
2. Pending congressional enactment of the National Land Use Act and an act to finance the ADSDPPs (Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan), there is no clear State assistance to development of Ancestral Domains along the planning done by the IPs through their ADSDPPs.
3. No effort has been made to study the disestablishment of government reservations in order to restore Ancestral Domains.
B. On the right to self-governance and empowerment
4. The FPIC requirement has been uniformly violated by both State & non-State duty bearers.
5. Remedies appropriate to IP cultures are hindered by the State when IPs are forced to litigate in adversarial courts of justice.
6. Police power and law enforcement for customary law decisions and domains protection as a measure of IP empowerment is not recognized and supported by the State. There is no provision in the IPRA or its implementing rules on customary law enforcement through traditional enforcers who are inherent in the societal structures of every tribal society.
7. The peace process in the ARMM and efforts toward federalism render IP Rights nebulous and require re-definition of IP political status and relations with the State. Both Islamized and non-islamized IPs affected by the peace process should enjoy the protection of the IPRA (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act). Passage of the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) must include mechanisms to protect IP rights such as those endorsed to Congress by the MIPLA (Mindanao IP Legislative Assembly) for the creation of an independent IP commission and for a transitory committee to establish rules for its creation and definition of its powers.
C. Right to social justice and human rights
8. The state is deficient in gathering and dis-aggregating data on IP women, IP youth & children, internally displaced IPs and IP elderly to render them specific targets of government assistance and expenditures. There is insufficient monitoring of IP rights to access to basic services as well as IP collective rights to ancestral domains development.
9. Displacement of IPs and extrajudicial executions of IP and IP rights defenders are at alarming levels and government remedies and prosecutions are slow to respond to this.
On 17 May 2018, indigenous people’s groups from Mindanao and various regions forwarded cases of massacres, attacks on schools, forced confessions, and other atrocities to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. Witnesses, immediate family members, and survivors presented their accounts to Special Rapporteur (SR) Victoria Tauli-Corpuz through Skype at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) at UP-Diliman.
SR Corpuz could not attend the event in person for fears of her physical safety after she has been accused of being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines, a group tagged by the government as terrorists along with its armed wing New People’s Army.
Below is a power point summary of these findings:
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1. This is a proposal for setting up a Human Rights Observatory (HRO) for the Philippines designed within an Organizational Development (O.D.) process in the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
2. Matrix Public Hearing, September 27-28, 2017, Davao City
3. This is a report of the 2017 National Inquiry on the Human Rights Situation of Filipino Indigenous Peoples (IP) convened by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
4. Documentation Report -National Inquiry on the Situation of Filipino Indigenous Peoples Regions XI and XII September 27-28, 2017, Davao City
5. National Inquiry on the Human Rights Situation of the Filipino Indigenous Peoples August 14-17, 2017 The Legend Palawan Hotel Puerto Princesa City
6. National Inquiry on the Human Rights Situation of the Filipino Indigenous People May 25-26, 2017 Days Hotel General Luna St., Iloilo City
7. The conference among government agencies and Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) will serve as a forum wherein the current human rights situation of the IPs of Luzon and other areas will be described and evaluated.
8. National Inquiry on the Situation of Filipino Indigenous Peoples – Tagaytay City