Final IP assembly to solve Baguio IPMR row

BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) will call for a general assembly among indigenous peoples (IPs) and indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in the city to finally decide on the deserving Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) who will sit as an ex-officio member of the local legislative body for a prescribed term of office.

NCIP-CAR regional director lawyer Roland P. Calde said that the IP general assembly will be done within the next two weeks to decide on who will be the anointed IPMR in the city amidst the brewing controversy on the selection of the IPMR that had caused division among the IPs in the different parts of the city.

He admitted that last Saturday’s IP general assembly supposedly to confirm the decision of the members of the Council of Elders to revoke the selection of Roger Sinot as the city’s IPMR was marred with controversies and that the Sinot supporters even walked out of the meeting because their plan to have the proceedings questioned did not succeed.

The Sinot camp questioned the resolution of the Council of Elders revoking his selection as the city’s IPMR on the ground that there were only 8 out of the 24 members that signed the resolution which actually does not constitute a quorum.

Earlier, several groups of IPs passed resolutions that expressed their strong opposition to Sinot’s selection as the city’s IPMR because of alleged dishonesty on his failure to divulge that he was convicted of theft in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya for allegedly stealing construction materials and his alleged double registration that does not sound good for a supposed honorable that will represent the IPs in the local government and concerned government agencies.

Calde underscored that invitations will be extended to all the IPs in the city for them to decide on whom to anoint as city IPMR.

According to him, the problem on the city’s IPMR is that it created division among the IPs in the different barangays to the extent that family members and relatives are divided on who will be actually representing the IPs in the local legislative body.

The local government has no appropriation for the city’s IPMR, the members of his staff and the maintenance and operation of his or her office except for the appropriations that have been earmarked for three vacant sectoral representatives but the funds are already being used to provide the salaries for the casual and job order employees of the members of the local legislative body.

Aside from the absence of funds for the salaries of the IPMR, the members of his staff and the maintenance and operation of the office, whoever will be given the affirmation and confirmation as the city’s IPMR will actually have no office space in the city hall as almost all the offices spaces are filled up, especially with the on-going repairs of some offices of certain departments in the seat of government.

By HENT.

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