AMENDING THE BBL. The Lumad are seeking for a ‘peaceful’ way of negotiating with the Moros in amending the Bangsamoro Basic Law, to which they say does not include any provisions on their right to ancestral domain. (Mick Basa /

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Leaders of non-Islamized indigenous tribes in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are taking a “non-confrontational approach” to demand for a revision of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a bill that has been filed in Congress which they say still lacks provisions that will protect their right to ancestral domain.

The Lumads are asking for a “non-regressive” BBL, said Reuben Dasay Lingating, chairperson of the government’s peace panel for the indigenous peoples.

“By non-regressive, we should not in any way, through any act of legislation, diminish what the non-Moro IPs have right now,” explained Lingatin, who previously chaired the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

There is no mention of the Lumad’s right to ancestral domain in the present version of the BBL, and it has been that even since the ARMM was established during the time of the late president Corazon Aquino.

The Lumad have been treading carefully on this issue as they do not want to appear “anti-Moro” amid a huge backing of the BBL, to which had already been supported by President Duterte and marked by Congress as a priority bill. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), meanwhile, hopes for a non-diluted version of the legislation.

Thus, on August 30, some 470 leaders of non-Moro indigenous tribes residing in the ARMM gathered here to gather inputs for the BBL.

Each were given hard copies of the bill and were broken down into seven groups so they could closely discuss their concerns.

Lingating said this will “avoid the untoward experiences we had in the past with the previous version of the BBL.”
In general, the Lumads have been asking for their four bundles of rights: their right to ancestral domain, right to self-governance and empowerment, social justice and human rights, and the cultural integrity under the Bangsamoro government. (

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