Sep 28, 2020

San Vicente IPs raise concern over delay in IPMR selection

In a press conference held during the celebration of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month in the town of San Vicente on October 30, ethnic groups composed of Cuyunon, the Agutaynen, and the Tagbanua’ng Tandolanen said that it has been two months that they were not represented in the municipal council.

There are three ethnic groups in the town of San Vicente; and they are composed of the Cuyunon, the Agutaynen, and the Tagbanua’ng Tandolanen.

The indigenous communities in the town of San Vicente have raised concern on the delay in the installation of their new mandatory representative (IPMR) at the municipal level, which affects the plight of the three major tribes.

In a press conference held during the celebration of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month in the town of San Vicente on October 30, ethnic groups composed of Cuyunon, the Agutaynen, and the Tagbanua’ng Tandolanen said that it has been two months that they were not represented in the municipal council.

“Sa ngalan po ng mga katutubo ng San Vicente, nananawagan kami sa NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples) Palawan sapagkat sila na lang ang walang kasagutan sa aming nire-request,” Pinky Rose Dela Cruz, a member of the Agutaynen tribe.

Dela Cruz said that in the revised IPMR Guidelines, rotation of terms is allowed if there is more than one tribe in the area and if the area has no Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT).

“Sa unang lokal na gabay na napagkasunduan ng tatlong tribu sa bayan ng San Vicente ay mauunang uupo ang Tagbanua Tandolanen na kinakatawan ni Reynaldo Rodriguez. Natapos na sya. Ngayon dapat ay Agutaynen term na kahit palabasin nilang magulo or dalawa o tatlo ang aspirant ng Agutaynen tribe pero ang IPMR dapat manggagaling na sa Agutaynen tribe at hindi na si Reynaldo Rodriguez ulit,” dela Cruz said.

She added that she was the one endorsed by the Agutaynen tribe but according to her some IP leaders in the province are making the impression that their tribe has a conflict or is not going well.

“Nais nilang palabasin na magulo daw ang mga Agutaynen tribe kasi po 2 or 3 aspirant ng IPMR sa tribe namin. But it’s okay kasi division of the house lang naman gagawin basta the realization of term of rotation ay masunod dahil kung ngayon pa lang hindi na nasunod, our trust in NCIP Palawan is lost since the day na hindi sila tumayo sa kung ano ang tama ayon sa batas,” she said.

Acting on the complaint lodged by Dela Cruz to NCIP regional office, Regional Director Roberto Almonte issued a memorandum to Engr. Roland Parangue, the provincial officer of NCIP Palawan dated September 18, 2019, to submit a report on what action was taken on the issue.

Engr. Parangue said that his office will bring this matter to the legal office of NCIP to shed light on the issue. Pending the legal opinion, the IPMR seat in the municipal council remains vacant after the term of Rodriguez expired last September 30, 2019.

Parangue explained that under the revised guidelines on IPMR, the ancestral domain owners are given priority to seat as IPMR in the council. Migrants can be given seat if the domain owners relinquished its right.

“Parang gusto pa ng mga Tagbanua na sila muna ang e-exercise ng right na ‘yun. Ang punto ng kabila {Agutaynen}, ay may agreement (on rotation). Ito ang hihingian namin ng legal opinion,” Parangue said.

Despite the absence of CADT document, by law, the Tagbanuas are the aboriginals of San Vicente by native title, Parangue added.

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