More than 1,600 members of the Teduray and Lambangian indigenous people from 85 villages in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces held the 3rd Timfada Limud or tribal congress in Upi, Maguindanao on Monday, April 17.
Timuay Labi Sannie Bello, supreme chieftain of the Timuay Justice and Governance, the indigenous political structure of the Teduray and Lambangian, said the congress was held to allow tribal title holders to discuss and decide on issues their people are confronting.
Among these concerns, he said, are peace, ancestral domain and the political future of their tribes in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The Teduray and Lambangian collectively number 101,874 persons within the ARMM according to the 2014 survey by the IPDev project of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Institute for Autonomy and Governance and Development Consultants Inc.
They have a continuing ancestral domain claim of 201,850 hectares of land and 94 hectares of water being delineated by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
Mabel Carumba, Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement’s vice chair for Katawhang Migrante said their organization supports the self-governance of the Teduray and Lambangian as part of their continuing advocacy for the right to self-determination of Mindanao’s indigenous people.
The culmination of the 3rd Timfada Limud on April 19 will see up to 6,000 Teduray and Lambangian gather in Upi to affirm the political positions reached by the tribal congress.