La Trinidad Indigenous People representative steps down

La Trinidad IP rep steps down

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La Trinidad IP rep steps down

Friday, October 13, 2017

OUTGOING La Trinidad Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Marcelo Abela said he is willing to vacate his post despite his petitions against his successor, Pendon Thompson.

Abella’s three-year term ended on October 8 in accordance with the certificate of affirmation by National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The spat between the two IP leaders have left the local council apprehensive.

“We were afraid on what may happen, we were afraid that there would be no peaceful transition,” Councilor Nestor Fongwan Jr said.

Thompson has yet to take over in the regular local council session as he awaits for the NCIP to release the certificate of affirmation.

La Trinidad Indigenous People Organization adviser Ricto Alawas with elders have asked Abela to withdraw his petition against Thompson for the benefit of the municipality.

“I wrote the director because it seems that I was never consulted when they conducted that selection even prior to that one,” Abela said.

Abela also reminded the council he has not fully received salaries due him for 2014 and the entire 2015.

“This matter has been referred several times to some committees of the SB but there is no tangible or acceptable report that ever came out up to this date, so that the issue is still hanging and unresolved,” he said.

Vice-Mayor Joey Marrero said Thompson cannot assume his position because of the lack of documents although they have allowed him to sit-in at the office to familiarize himself with the legislative processes.

Marrero said the customary practice of “tongtongan” will be applied in a bid to settle the impasse.

Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 13, 2017.

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