A petition was filed by incumbent La Trinidad Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IMPR) Marcelo Abella questioning the selection of newly elected IPMR Pendon Thompson.
Addressed to Regional Director Attorney Roland Calde of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Cordillera, Abella said there seem to be an irregularities and obvious bias with the selection of the newly elected IPMR.
“As incumbent IPMR of La Trinidad, I was never consulted nor invited in pre-activity meetings which were all designed to favour one aspiring candidate, Pendon Thompson, to the exclusion of others. Other original IP elders/ leaders were likewise not invited. These were all allegedly done in connivance with some NCIP personnel,” said Abella.
“All the activities including the alleged approval of the local guidelines and selection of IPMR was undertaken by the questionable La Trinidad Indigenous Peoples Organization (LTIPO) and barangay officials and not by the ICCs/ IPs as per IPRA and the National Guidelines or NCIP AO No. 001 Series of 2009,” Abella said.
Abella added the activity is not coordinated with him as the IPMR of La Trinidad.
“The process and the local guidelines discarded the existing guidelines and entirely came up with a new guideline and there are question in the new guidelines of which I indicated in my letter to Regional Director,” Abella said.
Sun.Star Baguio sources however claimed the selection process on August 11 was done in accordance to the NCIP and the valley’s guideline unanimously approved and ratified by 2/3 of the majority of Barangay Council of Elders present in the assembly held July 26, 2017.
NCIP Provincial Officer Nora Ramos advised all stakeholders to resolve all issues before submitting and endorsing the final documents for the newly selected IPMR of La Trinidad while the NCIP has yet to issue the Certificate of Affirmation.
During the August 11 selection, there were 112 who attended including representatives from the NCIP who facilitated the process.