DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The 18th Council of Davao City has approved the passage of the IP Alternative Resolution in Davao City that mandates the traditional way of resolving disputes through the existing Council of Elders in the community.
Under the Ordinance, the Council of Elders in an Indigenous Cultural Community (ICC) traditional conciliation processes under the customary law but only limited to matters and cases such as theft, slander and other petty crimes.
In an interview with Councilor Sudagar, she said the main goal of the ordinance is to give the tribes the “independence to resolve the cases filed to the council and to preserve the tribal way of resolving disputes” by giving them authority.
But Sudagar also clarified that the Council of Elders may only resolve petty crimes and cases. The complainant and defendant will still seek the intervention of the LupongTagapamayapa and the Barangay Council once the Council of Elders cannot resolve the case.
“When a dispute is resolved under the Council of Elders, they will still give a copy of the decision to the LupongTagapamaya and the Punong Barangay. They will also send an endorsement to the Barangay level if a case fails to be resolved in the Council of Elders level” said Sudagar.
Sudagar now hopes that the new ordinance will help decrease the number of cases in court as it will soon be under the council of elders to resolve issues in their respective communities.
“Before the ordinance passed today, I have been in consultation with the City Prosecutors office and they were supportive with the initiative,” Sudagar added.
The ordinance is the second to pass under the office of the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) City Councilor Bai Halila Y. Sudagar who had her term extended in August last year after the failure of the selection for the next representative.
Sudagar also proposed the passage of the “The Hijab Ordinance of Davao City” that rights, well-being and religious beliefs of Muslim women to wear hijab, niqab or burqa in school campuses, workplaces, commercial establishments, and other private or public places. (davaotoday.com)