IP rep election hit

MAYOR Maurcio Domogan is worried over the selection process of the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) after Roger Sinot won a seat in the city council.

Domogan said the process of selection has excluded other Indigenous Peoples confining the voting and selection to one group.

u201cIt is the procedure as a whole. It has excluded other groups in the voting and selection,” Domogan said.

Over 300 gathered at the Avong Ibaloi Heritage Garden at Burnham Park, Friday for the selection of vacancy of the IPMR facilitated by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Ibaloi’s from the city converged to ratify guidelines for the IPMR selection after which the selection proceeded via secret ballot with Sinot emerging victorious.

u201cI do not have problems if an Ibaloi sits as IPMR as they are the original settlers of Baguio but we have to include the others [groups] in the process,” Domogan said citing the Kalanguyas and Kanakanaey groups.

During the voting, the Ibaloi group converged and went through with the selection process for the IPMR representative.

u201cLet us remove any cloud of doubt, let this be clarified by the NCIP,” Domogan said.

The mayor said there is no stopping other groups to file a motion for declaratory relief to allow ample time for questions to be clarified by the NCIP.

Domogan also cited budgetary considerations as well as man power and office space to be considered for the inclusion of an IPMR in city hall.

The Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) welcomes the historic and formal representation of the Ibalois as the original inhabitants of Kafagway, now Baguio city, to the City Council.

Jill Cariño, Vice Chairperson of CPA and an Ibaloi of Baguio City said, “It is a promising development that the Ibalois in Baguio City have selected their first IPMR to the Baguio City Council.”

u201cThe selection is historic since, for the first time after 18 years of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), the Ibalois will now be given the chance to be heard in the Baguio City Council especially regarding their concerns on ancestral lands, development and the promotion of indigenous people’s rights and Ibaloi culture in the city. It is long overdue that the indigenous peoples are given a voice in the local government especially since they comprise a significant section if not the majority of the City’s population,” Cariño added.

Cariño further stated the CPA also recognize and thank the indigenous peoples migrants in Baguio City who issued a resolution during the Cordillera Elders conference held August 29-30, pushing and expressing support for the Ibalois to sit as an IPMR in the council, in recognition as the original inhabitants of Kafagway.

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