The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples clarified that the agency has no objection to the selection of Cherry Ann Ortiz-Codilla as the indigenous peoples’ mandatory representative (IPMR).
“To say that that this office has an untimely objection on her (Codilla) qualifications after three validations is misleading as there was no validation done yet on her genealogy,” read the letter by NCIP XI regional director Geroncio Aguio addressed to Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag.
“The proof of validation by this office is a validation order and a validation report none of which are in our office. What is being been done now is a process provided by our national guidelines and not an objection,” the letter added.
Aguio also stressed that they didn’t deliberately sat on the validation since they acted on the matter on April 30 or four days after the documents were transmitted to their office from Davao City Field Office on April 26.
“The issue on the delay of the assumption of the IPMR is also our concern but it is best for all parties to maintain and sustain the integrity and dignity of the processes as provided by law that rushing the issuance of the certificates of affirmation to an IPMR who mat not meet the qualifications set by the national and local guidelines of the Bagobo-Klata communities,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, Ariel Motaña, OIC hearing officer of the NCIP XI, said the provincial office is set to release the comprehensive investigation into the genealogy question of Codilla this week. The report would be the basis whether to issue the certificate of affirmation or not.
“The NCIP is not objecting or delaying the Codilla’s certificate of affirmation. It’s just that there are conflicting records of her genealogy,” Montaña explained in yesterday’s AFP-PNP Press Corps forum.
He stressed that the IPMR requirements for the Bagobo-Klata tribe was set by the tribe. But the criteria can be amended anytime.
Codilla was supposed to take her oath of office last April 27 but was deferred pending her affirmation.
The mandate of Aguio in revalidating the genealogy and other documents relative to the selection of Codilla was in accordance with Sec. 15 and 16 of NCIP Administrative Order No. 001, Series of 2009 also known as the National Guidelines for the Mandatory Representation of Indigenous Peoples in Local Legislative Councils.
“Such action is not an objection but it is within the bounds of the national guidelines that this Office is currently doing to come up with a comprehensive and substantive report in connection with the selection of Mrs. Codilla,” the reply of Aguio read.
Meanwhile, Motaña did not comment on the claims of Al-ag that politics is the reason behind the delay for the issuance of the certificate of affirmation.
Based on the records, Codilla garnered 241 votes from 431 members of Talaukom or the tribe’s Council of Elders, while her other four competitors, Bae Jane Lopez-Banzon got 86 votes, Datu Camilo Bancas got 71, Datu Rosalito Anog received 33, and Datu Marcelino Betil got five votes.
The lawyer also urged the tribes to coordinate with the NCIP Davao City Provincial Office if the term of a current IPMR will be expiring.
“The tribe who would replace the incumbent IPMR should make a schedule three to six months with the NCIP Davao City Provincial Office so that the IPMR post in the city council will not be vacated for too long,” Motaña said.