DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) affirmed its decision on the lack of mandatory genealogical qualification of prospective Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Cherry Ann Codilla.
Speaking during the City Council session on Tuesday, NCIP Regional Director lawyer Geroncio Aguio said their records show Codilla is mainly not indigenous, as she carries Ubo- Manuvo blood of 12.5 percent, Bagobo Klata blood of 6.25 percent, and Bagobo-Tagabawa 2.25 percent.
Codilla has non-indigenous blood of 75 percent, he said.
“Based on (these) findings, the NCIP cannot issue a Certificate of Affirmation to the selected IPMR because she does not possess that mandatory requirement of 25 percent genealogical qualification as well as her failure to have a five years track record certified by the NCIP as per required by the local guidelines,” the NCIP said.
He said Codilla “did not show any active engagement with ICC/IPS, except lately during the time she was included as a member of the Barangay Biao Talaukom.”
The NCIP announced it will conduct another selection process, with a requirement of mandatory submission of genealogical data from all aspirants.
Aguio admitted to the City Council that they failed to check on Codilla’s qualifications as they expected “honesty and integrity” from the aspirant.
Codilla’s question of validation said Aquio, is only one in more or less one thousand IPMR in region 11 that they are processing all throughout the year.
“No validation happened because there was no genealogical data submitted during the selection process,” he said.
Codilla garnered 241 votes during the selection process
For her part, Codilla said the “NCIP should respect the decision of the tribe” as it is the customary law of the tribe to decide whom to choose as their leader or representative.
She told the City Council she used to be a member of the barangay tribal council or talaukom which required a 25 percent Bagobo Klata blood. She was an NCIP scholar during her college days.
She submitted an oath from more than 30 Bagobo Klata leaders and a family tree to supports her claim of genealogical qualification.
Her mother is the deputy mayor of the Bagobo Klata tribe. (davaotoday.com)