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A the official languages are filipino and until

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Unformatted text preview: ich points out what properties are within the ancestral domains. It does not confer or recognize any right of ownership over the natural resources to the indigenous peoples. Its purpose is definitional and not declarative of a right or title. The specification of what areas belong to the ancestral domains is, to our mind, important to ensure that no unnecessary encroachment on private properties outside the ancestral domains will result during the delineation process. The mere fact that Section 3(a) defines ancestral domains to include the natural resources found therein does not ipso facto convert the character of such natural resources as private property of the indigenous peoples. Similarly, Section 5 in relation to Section 3(a) cannot be construed as a source of ownership rights of indigenous people over the natural resources simply because it recognizes ancestral domains as their “private but community property.” The phrase “private but community property” is merely descriptive of the indigenous peoples’ concept of ownership as distinguished from that provided in the Civil Code. In contrast, the indigenous peoples’ concept of ownership emphasizes the importance of communal or group ownership. By virtue of the communal character of ownership, the property held in common “cannot be sold, disposed or destroyed” because it was meant to benefit the whole indigenous community and not merely the individual member. That IPRA is not intended to bestow ownership over natural resources to the indigenous peoples is also clear from the deliberations of the bicameral conference committee on Section 7 which recites the rights of indigenous peoples over their ancestral domains. Further, Section 7 makes no mention of any right of ownership of the indigenous peoples over the natural resources. In fact, Section 7(a) merely recognizes the “right to claim ownership over lands, bodies of water traditionally and actually occupied by indigenous peoples, sacred places, traditional hunting and fishing grounds, and all improvements made by them at any time...
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