Court grants injunction against Baguio IPMR

By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Following the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the regional trial court of Baguio City granted the petition for injunction and has barred Roger Sinot, Sr., the selected indigenous people’s mandatory representative (IPMR) to the Baguio city council on February 6, from performing his duties as councilor.

In her order, Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog said that the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is the court’s discretion.

“In the instant case, the court, in the exercise of its sound discretion, deems it best to issue a preliminary injunction in order not to render moot and academic, the issues on the qualifications and selection of Mr. Sinot which will yet be finally resolved by the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous People),” Archog said in her order.

The injunction upholds the earlier TRO that restrained Sinot from assuming the IPMR post; and the city government from recognizing Sinot as IPMR and from appropriating any budget for the IPMR office and Sinot’s salary.

Archog also forwarded the case to the Philippine Mediation Center. A mediation meeting is set on February 20. She also ordered that the case be forwarded to the office of the Clerk of Court to be raffled anew should mediation fail.

Petitions questioning Sinot’s qualification and selection were filed at the NCIP in November and December 2016 right after the selection process, with addendum in January 2017.

According to section 16 of the national guidelines of the NCIP for IPMR slection, the regional office will only issue a certificate of affirmation after it has evaluated and found nothing wrong with all documents and proceedings in the selection of the IPMR. In case of issues arising, the regional office will return the matter to the recommending field office to resolve the issues.

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. The NCIP called for another assembly in October 2017 to thresh out the issues.

Director Roland Calde of the NCIP Cordillera issued the Certificate of Affirmation last January 5. The local Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) upheld it and Sinot took oath under Councilor Faustino Oloan last month. # nordis.net

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