I will reach out to tribal areas – Davao City’s new IP rep

Apr. 08, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Newly-elected Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Bai Halila Sudagar said she was “shocked” at the challenge hurled by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s that she must visit the IPs in the hinterlands.

“I was shocked, I didn’t know about that, so I need to reach out to them to ask them such matter,” Sudagar said adding that she knows it is part of her job.

“Actually, wayback when I was a [Sangguniang Kabataan] Federation president, I went to Paquibato district and some IP places. I have many IP friends, so I am ready to go back to IP places,” she said.

For now, Sudagar said she will have consultations to familiarize herself with other tribes. She said that she would also want to “jive” her programs with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Duterte, during his Sunday program Gikan Sa Masa, Para sa Masa, said Sudagar should go to the mountains and talk to the New People’s Army, most members of whom are IPs.

In an interview with the media during Tuesday’s regular session of the City Council, Sudagar admitted that the mayor’s pronouncement “shocked” her. She also admitted that she is not familiar with other tribes.

Asked by media if she has read the Bangsamoro Basic Law, Sudagar said she has read some of the provisions of the BBL.

“And I hope in the course of the discussion about the peace process, no will be left behind. Because we know that BBL was drafted for [the Moro Islamic Liberation Front], how about [the Moro National Liberation Front]?,” she said.

Sudagar also said that she was instructed by Mayor Duterte to be present whenever there is a forum on the BBL.

“I will be present. That was his instructions if ever there is a forum I will go there and show my support [to] BBL,” she said.

Sudagar who comes from the Kagan tribe will also represent the other major tribes in the city including Ata, Klata, Matigsalug, Tagabawa and Uvo Manobo. She was swore in as the new IP representative last March 30. (davaotoday.com)
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