The DITO Telecommunity company, which is vying to become the nation’s third major player in the telecommunications sector after Globe and Smart, was reported to have angered certain indigenous groups in the Cordilleras for alleged trespassing.
In this regard, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has taken up the cudgels for the aggrieved parties against DITO in what is being described as a “duel between David and Goliath.”
A show-cause order has been reportedly issued by the NCIP in the Cordillera Administrative Region against DITO for alleged violation of indigenous peoples’ rights in laying their fiber optics cables in their ancestral domains in Benguet province without securing Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from the affected communities.
“It has come to our attention that your company has undertaken or is currently undertaking fiber-optics laying without securing the FPIC and without paying just compensation for damages that may ensue as a consequence thereof,” the show cause order said (appearing in a report by The Manila Times).
The commission said indigenous peoples also have a right to be informed about the environmental impact on their ancestral domain by the implementation of such project, and are entitled to fair and just compensation for any and all damages which may be sustained in their lands.