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Resolve case first | City junks support to new IPMR selection

The City Government has refused to support another Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) selection, which was supposedly set Thursday.

In a letter to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), City Mayor Sara Duterte said the city government has opted to abstain from the second selection process as they are waiting the court’s final decision on the case filed by Bai Cherry Ann Codilla, the disqualified IPMR from the said tribe.

“Please be informed that the City Government of Davao is abstaining from participating and supporting this second selection process,” Duterte said in the letter addressed to NCIP Davao Provincial Officer Cristito Ingay.

The City’s Legal Office also mentioned that the pending mandamus case against the NCIP before Regional Trial Court Branch 15 “necessitates prior resolution before a conduct of another selection process.”

Codilla sought the assistance of the mayor after being allegedly “unjustly deprived” of being officially proclaimed as the IPMR to represent the city-based Lumads in the city council

On April 12, 2018, the initial selection process for the IPMR, Codilla won the selection after getting 241 votes among the tribe members of the Bagobo-Klata, the tribal group set to represent in the city council in the next three years.

But days later, the NCIP disqualified Codilla citing her lack of genealogical qualification. Aspirants are required to have at least 25% of Bagobo-Klata genealogy to be qualified, which Codilla reportedly failed.

But Codilla argued that “there cannot be another selection process unless (my) case is fully resolved (by the court) on the merits,”

Atty. Osmundo Villanuea, Assistant City Legal Officer, said in his legal opinion that the office “finds serious procedural and substantial flaws in the manner by which the process of the disqualification was accomplished not to mention the attendant blunders committed in the selection process.”

The IP is currently represented by former IPRM Councilor Bai Halila Sudagar in a hold-over capacity. Sudagar ran as second-district councilor but lost in the recent elections.

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