City protests NCIP’s grant of titles in Ecozone area PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:07

Mayor Celso Lobregat has asked the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to quash or withdraw the certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) issued to an indigenous cultural community in the west coast for an area that falls under the jurisdiction of the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport authority.

As this developed, the City Council during its session recently approved a resolution reiterating the City’s opposition to the application and or issuance of the CADT to the said community.

“The CADT was issued despite several objections of the city government and the Ecozone”, the mayor said in an interview with City Hall reporters recently.

Mayor Lobregat last February 11 convened a meeting of concerned agencies including District I Representative Beng Climaco in City Hall where it was confirmed by the NCIP that the agency has already issued the CADT to the Limpapa Labuan Patalon Subanon Indigenous Cultural Community (LLPSICC)  covering 7,850 hectares of land within the barangays of Limpapa, Labuan and Patalon and more than 4,546 hectares  of waters of the Celebes sea within the coast of the said barangays.

The mayor lamented that the NCIP still proceeded with the survey and the issuance of the certificate of application for titling notwithstanding the opposition raised by the city government through Council resolutions and position papers from the Ecozone Board as early as 2007.

It was learned that on August 23, 2007, the City Council approved four resolutions interposing strong opposition to the community’s petition/application for a CADT with the NCIP over a huge portion of public land located at the barangays of Limpapa, Labuan and Patalon and the coastal seas thereoft and authorizing the City Mayor to make representations before the concerned government agencies expressing the City’s stand, as well as undertake necessary administrative or legal action to protect the interest of the City.

Records show that land area claimed is within the jurisdiction of the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority per Presidential Proclamation 1099, following the creation of the authority through RA 7903. The waters being claimed on the other hand, forms part of the 15 kilometer municipal waters of the City of Zamboanga as defined under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and City Ordinance 2002-89 or the fisheries ordinance of the city of Zamboanga.

Following the 4 City Council resolutions, the City Government on August 31, 2007, filed its position paper, interposing strong opposition before the NCIP. For its part, the Ecozone also filed its position paper strongly opposing the said application and or issuance for CADT.

The City Government’s and ecozone’s opposition was based on the provisions of Section 56 of Republic act 8371 or the IPRA law which emphasizes that property rights within the ancestral domains already existing and or vested upon the effectivity of the said Act, shall be recognized and respected.

Aside from the resolution reiterating the City Government’s strong opposition to the application and issuance of the CADT by the NCIP to the said community, the City Council last Wednesday also requested the Registrar of Deed of the Land Registration Authority for the city not to register the CADT issued by the NCIP. — Sheila Covarrubias