By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Roger Sinot Sr., Baguio’s first Indigenous People’s representative to the city council who was barred by the local courts from taking his seat filed a petition for a review of the lower courts’ order at the Court of Appeals on March 19.
Sinot in his petition for certiorari, asked the CA to review the 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) of Judge Executive Judge Maria Ligaya Itliong-Rivera last January and a Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued by Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog in February. The court orders stemmed from two petitions for injunction: one filed by representatives of the city’s Ibaloy, Kankaney and Kalanguya families, who complained that they were not consulted about Sinot’s designation, the other by the city government represented by Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
It can be recalled that the TRO was issued in January 22 a week after he took oath of office on January 15.
Sinot filed his petition for certiorari after the mediation process in February failed to arrive to a consensual decision on the matter. Archog forwarded Sinot’s case to the Philippine Meidation Center after issuing her order.
Sinot alleged in his petition that Rivera committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing a TRO without substantiating claims that his assumption as mandatory IP representative would jeopardize the functions of the city government.
“Public respondent (Archog) committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing a temporary restraining order despite zero proof of grave and irreparable injury to the applicants,” Sinot’s petition stated.
Every lawmaking body in towns, cities and provinces with a significant IP population are required by the Department of the Interior and Local Government to include an IPMR. This is mandated by Memorandum Circular No. 2010-119 issued by the late Jessie Robredo, who was Interior Secretary until his death in a 2012 helicopter crash.
Sinot’s selection in November 2016 by a council of elders has drawn controversy, not only from other IP groups in Baguio, but also from sectors in government.
IP petitions opposing Sinot’s designation were filed in November and December 2016.
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) assembled a review body in January to look into the matter. In February 2017, the body recommended that Sinot’s selection be affirmed.
Director Roland Calde, NCIP Cordillera director, issued the agency’s Certificate of Affirmation on January 5 this year. # nordis.net