“I would like to point out that the concept of Native Title whereby Ancestral Lands and Ancestral Domains are considered private property, all in common among our IPs and have never been part of public lands, therefore, in the present situation, it so happens that certain areas classified as or claimed to be forest land, that is also because IPRA was enacted in 1997 and NCIP is playing a catch-up role. Mahaba ang lead time ng DAR at DENR sa pagtitulo ng mga lupa, but it doesn’t mean that the Ancestral Domain/Native Title concept has been overtaken by events, although belated recognized, retroacts back to the time since time immemorial.
The concept of Native Title does not surrender, does not give up the claim that the Ancestral Lands and Ancestral Domains have long been private property owned communally by our ICCs/IPs since time immemorial.
Dir. Caesar M. Ortega
NCIP-Ancestral Domains Office