Mayor’s decision over IP rep row gets nod from groups

Jan. 23, 2015

By Roberto Gumba Jr., Davao Today Intern

DAVAO CITY – A Mindanao-wide indigenous people’s group and the former Indigenous People’s representative in the City Council here said they will respect Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s decision rejecting the tribes’ endorsement of Halila Sudagar as their representative to the City Council here.

In a phone interview, Dulphing Ogan, secretary general of Mindanao-wide tribal group alliance, Kalumaran, said that it is the mayor’s “prerogative” whether to accept or not the new Indigenous People’s Mandatory Representative (IPMR).

Berino Mambo-o, the outgoing IPMR said he cannot do anything “if that is the mayor’s decision”.

“I just hope whoever gets selected would have a heart for the lumads and will be transparent and genuine in service,” he said.

Halila Sudagar was chosen by the Kagan tribe to be the IP representative last January 21, at the tribe’s gathering at the Almendras Gym here.

By internal agreement among the six tribes here, representation will be given to each of the tribe by turn. This term, the privilege is the turn of the Kagan tribe.

Mayor Duterte said he will turn down the final endorsement documents for Sudagar in order to give chance for other qualified members of Kagan tribe to be the IPMR.

Sudagar served as the youth representative in the City Council during the last term.

A staff of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) told a Davao Today interview it will still decide on what to do once the mayor’s rejection of Sudagar is confirmed.

According to the rules in the selection of the IPMR, once the IP representative is selected, the regional director of the NCIP shall issue a Certificate of Affirmation (COA) upon the recommendation of the NCIP Provincial Officer.

The certificate of affirmation shall then be furnished to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and to the City Government of Davao before the selected IP representative takes oath of office.(

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