Courts restrain Sinot from IPMR seat

Regional Trial Court Branch 6 Presiding Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog ruled to bar Roger Sinot Sr. from assuming his position as Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) to the city council.

On Tuesday afternoon, the six-page order of Dulay-Archog which granted the writ of preliminary injunction restrains the city government of Baguio from committing any act that would recognize Sinot as the IPMR to the city council and any appropriations for the salary and upkeep of the IPMR office.

Dulay-Archog said “After a thorough appreciation of the position papers submitted and testimonies of witnesses, the court grants the application of preliminary injunction. The petitioners in civil case number 8783-R have shown their right thereto.

The City Government if Baguio in Civil case number 8785-R has also shown clear and convincing evidence to support the issuance of the Writ of Preliminary injunction. There was showing that there was an invasion of their rights sought to be protected by the injuctive right, otherwise immediate irreparable damage will be committed.”

Dulay-Archog said, “It is not disputed that a protest questioning the qualifications of the respondent Sinot to represent the indigenous peoples groups of Baguio city is still pending final resolution before the NCIP. It must be understood that the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is discretionary with the Court. In the instant case, the Court in the exercise of its sound discretion deems it best to issue a preliminary injunction in order not to render moot and academic, the issues on the qualifications and selection of Mr. Sinot which will yet be finally resolved by the NCIP.”

The Dulay-Archog decision detailed on February 2, petitioners Joseph Sacley and Gaspar Cayat stood testified on irregularities in the selection process of an IPMR for the city and the exclusion of other tribes in the selection process.

Sinot in his defense alleges the petitioners failed to prove serious damage for the injunctive writ being prayed for “According to oppositor Sinot, the said petitioners suffered “emotional damage” to which a writ of preliminary injunction is not a proper remedy. The allegation of exclusion of their tribes was not also proven according to the oppositor, the injunctive writ is also opposed because it brings about the mass disenfranchisement of the indigenous peoples of Baguio and their right to be represented is at stake. As against the arguments of the City of government of Baguio, the oppositor stated that the city government of Baguio failed to show proof that the actions sought to be restrained will cause substantial harm to the taxpayers of Baguio City since there was no appropriations yet allotted for the IPMR office.”

Dulay-Archog ruled on both cases involving Sinot; On the Motion for Reconsideration assailing the Order for extending the Temporary Restraining Order for 17 days and the application for the issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction.

Legal counsel for Sinot, lawyer Francis Rae Camtugan II said a motion for reconsideration will be filed.
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