Charges filed at Ombudsman against Cordillera NCIP head

>> Saturday, July 29, 2017

Criminal, administrative cases pressed by Baguio IPMR-elect 

BAGUIO CITY – Charges were recently filed at the Office of the Ombudsman against Roland Calde, regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for “grave misconduct, gross violation of the law, grave abuse of authority and libel,” by Roger D. Sinot, the indigenous peoples mandatory representative-elect to the city council.
“I am filing this affidavit complaint to prosecute the administrative and criminal liabilities of Calde, Sinot told the Ombudsman. 
In his complaint filed June 30, 2017, Sinot said Calde has not issued the former’s certificate of affirmation so he could assume the position as IPMR in the city council considering the affirmation was “ministerial.”
Sinot added, this, despite an endorsement letter for Sinot’s assumption as Baguio IPMR on December 2016 by then NCIP Baguio officer in charge Harriet N. Abyadang who was also OIC regional legal chief of the government line agency.
 Abyadang attested that the process relative to the selection of Sinot had undergone necessary legal process as provided for under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
The manifesto was signed by all Baguio NCIP officers under her office citing veracity of the selection process.
The election was held November last year wherein Sinot won as IPMR after representatives of indigenous tribes in the region agreed that the first Baguio IPMR should be an Ibaloi in deference to their being the first settlers of the city.
In the election, Sinot won through secret balloting. 
“Respondent’s (Calde) continuous refusal to issue a certificate of affirmation is downright corrupt,” Sinot said in his complaint. “He is already exercising discretion to the point that he wants the indigenous peoples to choose someone amenable to his taste. He is no longer pushing for the process like questioning procedures before the proper courts, questioning qualifications before the proper bodies for he is now exercising ultimate veto powers which he does not have.”       
According to Sinot, he “later found out that respondent is favoring candidates of another group of fellow indigenous peoples.”
Sinot said “instead of advising my opponents to file disqualification or other special election cases against me, respondent refuses to prepare the certificate of affirmation.”
According to Sinot Calde, who belongs to the kankanaey tribe, also told the city council that he was “disqualified without a sworn case before me. The reason is pure discrimination against me and the indigenous peoples of Baguio City.”
“Respondent’s continued stay in office will definitely prejudice the case. Preventive suspension will give a breathing space for the government including the Honorable Office to investigate and make an objective assessment of all the cases,” Sinot said. “Respondent fails to recognize the selection of the IPMR and he made utterances before the city council based on hearsay. A professional way to do it is to have all the valid certifications ready for the city council to see and inspect. He (Calde) made a certification showing gross ignorance. His discretion oversteps clear legal mandate.”
He said Calde had told the city council he was not a registered voter of Baguio when under Commission on Elections rules, he is a registered voter of the city.
Calde also reportedly told the city council he was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude when this was not the case.
The NCIP regional director was also cited for “gross ignorance of the law” over a case involving water rights in Nangalisan, Tuba Benguet.    
“Respondent’s statements are false, widely published, not privileged in any manner and as such intend to injure my reputation,” Sinot said. “Respondent’s statements were made with reckless disregard of their truths or falsities and made with malice. He wants to destroy me before our friends, family and the public.”
According to Sinot, “there is possibility of destruction of evidence while he (Calde) remains in power during the investigation process.”

It was not known at press time if Calde had filed his response with the Ombudsman’s Office to Sinot’s complaint.


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