Tuba councilman calls for reorganization of IP group-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
TUBA, Benguet -- Committee chairman of Culture and the Arts Councilor Blas Dalus has called for a re-organization of the Indigenous People’s Organization–APSSOL to address the issues plaguing the association.
Dalus revealed the faction among the indigenous peoples (IP) surfaced, because of the non–inclusion of some affected residents as beneficiaries of the Philex Mining Corporation.
He then urged for the organization to accommodate those who were not included. “So what the officers of the APSSOL have to do is to see to it that these people are qualified to join the IPO.”
The reorganization of the club, as Dalus believes, will solve the current problem within the IPO–APSSOL.
He said the Governor Nestor Fongwan earlier mediated on the issue through a meeting where it was suggested there that the organization be regrouped.
But the other IPs did not agree with the procedures and had contentions regarding who will head the reorganized IPO, while some are still clinging to their alleged legitimacy as rightful beneficiaries of the Philex Mines.
“With the refusal of some IP for the reorganization, the situation is still on status quo. While the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples en banc resolution cancelled the registration of the IPO–APSSOL, it remains that the operation of Philex Mines is through the Memorandum of Agreement which was signed between the company, NCIP and the IPO–APSSOL, that’s why the company is still operating,” explained Dalus.
He added, “For the meantime, my suggestion is that the APSSOL should organize itself then come up with new set of officers to correct the infirmities that has been plugging the organization in the middle of the management of operation of the IPO –APSSOL.”
On the first week of January, the assisting regional hearing officer of the NCIP issued a temporary restraining order against the Baguio branch of the Banco de Oro Unibank to refrain from releasing any amount to the former officials of the APSSOL.
NCIP lawyer Brain Masweng gave credence to the complaints of the current officers of the IPO – APSSOL. The current officers claimed no authority was ever given to the former officials to withdraw the money from the bank.
The money was supposed to be given to the IPs affected by the operations of Philex Mining Corporation as compensation. But it should be given through their accredited organization that represented the IP sector during the MOA signing prior to the commencement of the corporation’s operation.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 02, 2013.