‘Rogue NCIP officials’ hit over ‘illegal IPMR selection, power grab’

>> Monday, July 11, 2022

BAGUIO CITY – The lawyer of Roger D. Sinot, who was earlier selected as indigenous people’s rights representative at the city council lashed at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for scheduling another event to select an IPMR.
    “It reached our attention that rogue officials of the NCIP have set an assembly on July 5, 2022, for the purpose of ‘finalization and ratification of local guidelines for the IPMR representative for the sangguniang panglunsod of Baguio and finalization of the list of selectors for Ibaloy, Kankana-ey and Kalanguya ICCs/IPs and nominees,’” said lawyer Francis Rae Camtugan 11. “The purpose of the assembly is illegal and a pure power grab of loser-politicians.”
    Urbano V. Mirante, Baguio NCIP chief wrote Sinot in a letter dated June 10, 2022 inviting him to the event.
    “This pertains to the conduct and finalization of local selection guidelines for the IPMR representative in the Sangguniang Panglunsod ng Baguio as well as finalization of the list of selectors from the Ibaloy Ibaloy, Kankanaey and Kalanguya ICCs/IPs and nominees. We invite you to the activity.”
    Camtugan said there are three cases pending before the court in Baguio City related to the matter. “It is a disrespect of our court processes for the NCIP and some local fixers to disregard the pending cases.”
    “Local NCIP officials should know their place and avoid participating in this power grab, Camtugan added. “Let us not create a bad precedent where the chosen IPMR cannot sit to represent the indigenous peoples in a decision-making body due to power play.”
    In a public notice, Camtugan said, “In behalf of the duly selected Baguio IPMR Roger Dalisdis Sinot, we wish to inform the public that Baguio City has already local guidelines ratified in 2016 with the assistance and guidance of the NCIP. In the LG, there are mechanisms in place for its amendment. Moreover, there is no case filed seeking the nullification of the LG.”   
    It was in 2016 that Sinot was chosen as IPMR to represent IPs in the city council following series of processes where regional IP representatives selected him as IPMR.
    The Dept. of Interior and Local Government and even the NCIP made certifications validating the processes which resulted to selection of Sinot as IPMR.
    Sinot was sworn to office as IPMR representative by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan.
    Despite these, Sinot was not able to physically assume office due to detractors from the city government and some disgruntled folks who claimed to be IPs.
    This, as a source said an NCIP official was manipulating processes so their chosen IPMR would be the one to assume office.
    The source said even in Mirante’s letter, it was only Ibaloy, Kankana-ey and Kalanguya representatives who would be joining the event and processes.
    “How about IPs from Kalinga, Bontoc, Abra or other parts of the Cordillera who are now residing in Baguio?” he asked. “Why are they being excluded?
    Other sources said Sinot should be made to sit as Baguio IPMR instead since all required processes had been done until he was selected as IPMR.
    “It is a pity that due to politics, Sinot is still not performing his functions as the city’s IPMR,” one said. -- AD


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