RTC issues TRO vs Baguio IPMR

By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Roger Sinot, who took oath as indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR) to the Baguio city council last week was not able to assume as indigenous people’s mandatory representative to the Baguio City council after the regional trial court issued a a temporary restraining order (TRO).

DIVIDE. Just as some indigenous people’s in Baguio City filed petitions in court against the selected indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR), there are those who want the IPMR to immediately assume his post. Photo by Candice Mangili

Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera, executive judge of the Baguio regional trial court issued the TRO on January 22. Acting Presiding Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog issued another TRO extending the earlier to another 17 days.

“The defendant, Roger Sinot is hereby directed to cease and desist from assuming office and attending the session of the city council on January 22, 2018 with a period of 72 hours from receipt of this order,” Rivera’s TRO said.

“Wherefore, premises considered, the application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) is granted for an additional 17 days comencing on January 22 enjoining and restraining Mr. Roger Sinot, Sr. from assuming or exercising authority as indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR) of Baguio City council,” Archog’s TRO said.

Archog also prohibitted any action that would recognize Sinot as IPMR or member of the city council. She also prohibited the appropriation of budget for the Sinot’s salary and for the IPMR office.

A hearing for a final decision on the said case is scheduled on February 2.

This even after he took oath on January 16, before Councilor Faustino Olowan after he delivered the letter of the Director Marlo Iringan of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to Mayor Mauricio Domogan informing him that the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) already issued a certificate of affirmation.

The late DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo issued Memorandum Circular 2010-119 calling for the mandatory representation of indigenous people in policy making bodies and other local legislative councils in accordance with the Indigeous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA).

Sinot has been fighting to seat in the city council for over a year now after some indigenous people filed complaints against the selection process where he was selected as IPMR. He was selected as IPMR in November 2016 in a selection process officiated by the NCIP Cordillera. Petitions opposing Sinot’s selection were filed in November and December 2016 with addendums in January 2017.

The NCIP composed a regional review body in January to look into the matter. In February 2017, the body recommended that Sinot’s selection be affirmed.

Director Roland Calde of the NCIP Cordillera issued the Certificate of Affirmation only last January 5. # nordis.net

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