NCIP warns of legal action vs. ABS-CBN over ‘Bagani’

MANILA The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) has called out television network ABS-CBN on what it says was an unjust use of the word "Bagani" in its fantasy TV series with the same title. The NCIP demanded that the TV network immediately correct it, or else it would take legal action on behalf of indigenous communities.

"By portraying 'Bagani' as merely fictional or mythological, and without reference to its historical and cultural significance, the TV fantasy show distorts, misleads, and confuses rather than educates the Filipino TV viewers on the indigenous concept and term 'Bagani'," the NCIP said in a statement Monday.

"The Bagani is real, not a fictional and not even a mythological group of warriors which the ABS-CBN TV series would like to portray," the government agency tasked to protect indigenous tribes stressed.

The commission pointed out "Bagani" refers to the peace-keeping force of the Manobo Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) and other ICCs/IPs in Mindanao.

The NCIP explained that in reality, a "Bagani" guards the ancestral domain against any intrusion from outside forces that might threaten the lives of indigenous people.

The NCIP stressed "Bagani" is a sensitive position and class not lightly ascribed to just any person and never to those outside the ICCs/IPs.

"We call on ABS-CBN to immediately rectify the injustice committed in using the word 'Bagani' and to prevent misleading or confusing the general public by giving false information about the concept," the commission underscored. "Otherwise, the NCIP together with the concerned ICCs/IPs will be constrained to take all the necessary remedies to protect and fulfill the rights of the indigenous peoples to their cultural integrity as guaranteed by the Constitution and by law."

Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Ronald Adamat earlier called on the TV station to clarify and explain its use of the term "Bagani". Adamat was a former representative of the IP Sector in the 10th Congress.

Source: Philippine News Agency