DAVAO CITY, Philippines – City Councilor Bai Halila Y. Sudagar has expressed hope for the immediate resolution of the dispute on the selection of the next Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) for Davao City as the midterm election come May is fast approaching.
Sudagar, who filed her candidacy for a seat at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, continues to represent the IPs in the city in a holdover capacity after the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) disqualified Bai Cherry Ann Codilla’s election to said position last year.
Codilla comes from the Bagobo Klata tribe but the NCIP contested her election to be the IPMR due to lack of genealogical qualification.
Sudagar said she is ready to vacate the position if the new IPMR will be declared before or after the local election.
“This March or April, if someone will be chosen to become the next IPMR, I am ready to vacate the position,” said Sudagar.
On her part, Codilla contradicted Sudagar’s suggestion, stating that there should be no more selection process to be facilitated on the issue of IPMR.
Codilla said a case was already filed in court against the NCIP in connection with her disqualification to represent the IPs of Davao City in the city council.
“We are praying to have a positive decision,” Codilla added.
Though she is not certain that the court may side with her plea, Codilla emphasized that she will wait and respect the decision of the court.
The case was filed at the Regional Trial Court branch 53 in Davao City.
NCIP regional director Geroncio Aguio presented to the 18th city council in June last year the negative result of the revalidation of the genealogy of Codilla.
But Sudagar insisted that a new selection process must be facilitated on the IPMR in Davao City, indicating that the same must be governed by strict rules on the voting process.
Sudagar noted that investigation as to the recent selection process revealed that some members of the “Talaukom” or Tribal Elders from another tribe voted for Codilla.
“The selection process is ongoing but currently they are still validating. Reports from the investigations indicate that some ‘Talaukom’ who voted are from Tagabawa, Ovo Manuvo and Ata tribe”, Sudagar added.
Sudagar was granted to return to her post temporarily upon the endorsement of the NCIP Davao Region, specifically from June 30 to November 30 last year, or “until her successor is duly selected whichever comes first in the community of Davao City.” (davaotoday.com)