THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is under fire once again after disqualifying a candidate two days before the re-selection process for the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR).
Barangay Baguio tribal kagawad Datu Camilo Bancas was given a disqualification letter by the NCIP on May 21, citing his lack of community engagement, which is one of the requirements according to the NCIP guidelines.
Bancas questioned the commission's unjust and sudden decision of disqualifying him days before the selection day.
"Wala nila gihuna-huna ang kahago, expectations, salig, ug kwarta for allowance sa pag-biyahe from bukid-to-bukid for a year aron mangampanya, tas ing-anaon lang ko nila'g disqualify (They did not think of the exerted efforts, expectations, trust and the expenditures spent traveling from one area to another in order to campaign, and they would disqualify me just like that)?" Bancas told SunStar Davao.
He said NCIP should have evaluated and validated his papers early since he already filed it last December.
"Prior unta, ila na unta ni gi-evaluate and validate ako papel kay kandidato man ko. Ang lisod lang kay karon pa nila gi-validate nga ulahi na. Natural ulahi nasab ang paglihok (They should have evaluated and validated my papers earlier, since I am a candidate. But they validated my papers at the last minute. Of course, I can no longer make actions because of a limited time)," Bancas said.
The tribal officer also questioned the NCIP for not meriting his credentials as Davao City Federation of Bagobo Klata/Guiangan tribal councils vice president for operations despite being accredited by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bancas was also a candidate in last year's IPMR selection, wherein Bai Cherry Ann Codilla was selected.
However, Codilla was later disqualified by NCIP due to lack of genealogical qualification.
"Mao na ako gikatinga, maong nakaingon ko sa NCIP 'Mas qualified ba ko sa una kesa sa karon?' Ngano man lagi na-push through ang selection process tong una. Wala man ko nila gi-disqualify. Tingala ko ron gi-disqualify ko nila (That's why I am still puzzled 'Was I more qualified last year than this year?' How come the selection process pushed through before? Why were they not able to look into it before?)," Bancas said.
There were four other aspirants for the re-selection process. Along with Bancas, Datu Severino Bolo was also disqualified.
Only Datu Demetrio Bolo (Severino's father) and Datu Rosalito Anog were qualified to participate in the selection.
However, Bancas will file for their disqualification, saying the two are currently an IPMR in their respective barangays.
He said holding any government position within a year grace period before the selection process is not allowed based on the NCIP Administrative Order 03, series of 2018.
Bancas said he will also file before the Ombudsman administrative cases against NCIP officials for allegedly manipulating the selection process.
"Ginadrama sa NCIP ang selection process. Ang NCIP wala gyud nakahatag og kaayuhan sa tribo. Imbis they are to protect, to guide, to facilitate, especially in this situation, mao na nahitabo, nasamok gamay (NCIP is adding tension in the selection process. NCIP never brought betterment for the tribes. They are there to protect, to guide, to facilitate, especially in this situation, but look what they have done)," he said.
NCIP Davao Director Geroncio Aguio denied Bancas was disqualified two days before the selection process.
But Aguio said the NCIP has not set any timeframe as to when an aspirant should be disqualified.
"Unang-una, he should have known his qualifications," he said.
Meanwhile, Aguio said Bancas failed to secure track records certified by the NCIP.
"Siyempre dapat naa siya'y track record sa NCIP-related activities in the community, sama sa delineation sa ila ancestral domain, pagbuhat og document sa ilang indigenous political structure. Wala man siya'y recorded activity na iya giapilan. Unsaon man na imong track record kung wala kay engagement sa NCIP na gina-conduct sa office (Of course, he should have track records on NCIP-related activities in the community, including delineation in their ancestral domain and creating documents of their indigenous political structure. He possesses none of those requirements. Your track records would be futile if you don't have engagement with the activities conducted by NCIP)," Aguio said.
Outgoing IPMR Councilor Bai Halila Sudagar said she would only step down from her post once NCIP will issue a certificate of affirmation.
With regards to community engagement, Sudagar said it is important that an aspirant must have an advocacy he/she promotes to the tribe, earlier before the selection.
"Best proof would be the tribe themselves had witnessed the services an aspirant had provided," Sudagar said.
She is hopeful that NCIP would immediately address the situation.
"Hopeful ko nga makalingkod ang mga taga-Klata. Nag-help jud ko nga makalingkod na gyud sila. Sa pag-faci (facilitate) nagtabang mi na ma-push through ang selection process (We are hopeful that someone from the Klata tribe will finally be seated as IPMR. We are indeed helping in the facilitating process, in order to finally push through the selection process)," Sudagar said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the City Government is abstaining in this year's selection process after receiving a letter from Codilla informing that the case involving the first selection process is still pending in court.
"We should await the court's final decision on the merits of the said case before we move forward on the matter," Duterte-Carpio replied to a letter sent by NCIP Davao City Provincial Officer Cristito Ingay.