Aquino awards land certificates to 824 Mangyan families


President Aquino distributes ancestral domain titles to Hanunuo, Gubatnon at Ratagnon elders. (Photo by Jay Morales/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

President Benigno Aquino has awarded a total of 18,616 hectares of provincial land to 824 Mangyan families at the Magsaysay municipal gymnasium.

Aquino lauded the Mangyans, who are members of the Hanunuo, Gubatnon and Ratagnon tribes of Mindoro, for their indomitable and unrelenting spirit in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve their life-long dream to finally call the land they till and live their very own.

“Your unrelenting struggle despite the numerous obstacles represents the basic trait of Filipinos which is why the Mangyans have earned my utmost respect,” Aquino said during the awarding of the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) in Bgy. Poblacion.

The President likened the Mangyans’ struggle to own their land to the country’s quest to unchain itself from the shackles of corruption.

He said the ethnic people of Mindoro “serve as the foundation of our Filipino culture.”

“In giving back to you the right to your ancestral domain, we hope you will continue to strengthen the rich cultural heritage of your forefathers,” the President said.

“For as long as you follow the right path, we shall make sure that your land is ably protected, as well as your indigenous culture,” Aquino said.

The CADT is part of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 which recognizes and affirms the indigenous peoples’ traditional systems of land tenure, promotes and protects their rights to ancestral domain and lands, self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights and cultural integrity.

IPRA allows the well-established land-law system of indigenous peoples to gain recognition under Philippine law.

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