By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Maximo Rodriguez has sought the creation of regional trial courts (RTCs) for indigenous peoples (IPs).
Citing that there are various indigenous groups in the country, he said there is a need to increase access to justice by IPs by creating RTCs for them.
“Considering the district ways of life our indigenous groups have retained, There is a need to create courts specifically for IPs, ” Rodriguez said.
He noted that Mindanao is divided into Moro and Lumad and for the most part, the IPs in Mindanao basically subsist through wet rice cultivation, hunting, fishing and trade in locally manufactured items.
Rodriguez filed House Bill 6803 seeking the creation of RTCs for cases involving IPs in provinces where the IPs are concentrated.
Under HB 6803, he batted for a P1-billion funding allocation for the implementation of the proposed Act.
The P1-billion allocation shall be appropriated out of any savings or unexpected balance in the National Treasury and thereafter, it shall be included in the budget of the judiciary in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the corresponding fiscal year.
The bill tasks the Supreme Court to issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.