Seminar-Workshop for NCIP Lawyers and Legal Offices
On December 4 to 6, 2012, the PHILJA conducted the second seminar-workshop for the lawyers and legal officers of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); the first one held in November 2011. Created under R.A. No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, the NCIP is a government agency with quasi-judicial functions that apply the primacy of customary laws in resolving claims and disputes involving rights of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples. In accordance with SC Administrative Circular No. 57-2003, PHILJA assisted in the conduct of this seminar-workshop. The activity is specifically intended to boost the adjudicative and administrative functions of the agency.
A total of 66 participants, including sociologists, listened to the PHILJA and NCIP lecturers who are authorities in IPRA, Customary Law, Customary Law in Relation to the Rules of Court, Case Law, Trial Technique on Quasi-Judicial Bodies, and Quasi-Judicial Bodies Case Management. The seminar rated 100 percent in profitability.
In her Statement of Purpose and Orientation, NCIP Chairperson Zenaida Brigida H. Pawid mentioned that the IPRA has been in effect for 14 years, yet its effect on the NCIP’s quasi-judicial functions has not been really felt; thus, the challenge is posed to the participants. On the other hand, former Court Administrator Zenaida Elepaño stressed in her closing remarks that the genuine commitment to honor and articulate the basic human and legal rights of ICCs and IPs is expected from the participants.