Musa reinstated, chides mayor for doing ‘Pilate’ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 March 2016 12:07

Ismael Musa yesterday chided Mayor Beng Climaco for “doing a Pontius Pilate”in connection with his ouster as IPMR representative to the City Council.

Musa was referring to the mayor’s reply to his letter dated January 22  wherein she accused him of making “several false and irresponsible allegations against   her.

In the same letter of reply,  Mayor Climaco said “It is beyond understanding how you could have misinterpreted my simple act, in plain English of merely furnishing the Honorable Vice-Mayor and the Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlungsod machine copy of the communication from Timuey Woy Lim P. Wong, Regional Director, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Regional Office IX, re: NCIP Regional Office Decision re: Hon. Ismael Musa’s Recall/Removal as IPMR in the Local Legislative Council of Zamboanga City, affirming the decision rendered by the council of elders/ leaders recalling Ismael I. Musa as Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative in the Legislative Council of Zamboanga City.For your information and appropriate action”.

To this Musa replied: “The rules of the NCIP provides that only parties and their counsels are required to be furnished copies of the decision. When the decision was furnished to your office it was only for your information because you are not a party to the case. Moreover, the decision shows that the Vice-Mayor was one of those furnished a copy. That would have already been sufficient. Despite that, you still endorsed it to the Vice-Mayor not only for his information but also for his appropriate action.”

In the Mayor’s Feb. 23 response to Musa, she stated: “Finally, your prayer that you should immediately be reinstated and restored of all (your) rights, duties and office xxx “should be addressed to the proper official, not to the undersigned City Mayor who had nothing to do with your removal.”

In Musa’s March 2 reply to the Feb. 23 letter of the Mayor, he stated: “ I am not a Christian but I know the story of Pontius Pilate washing his hands from responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ. This seems to be the case here.

“Like Jesus the victims here are the Sama Banguingui, who are one of the most marginalized tribes. It seems very unlikely that you would persecute us. Your present position, naturally suggests that the Vice-Mayor is to be blamed.”

Musa’s statement comes as Vice Mayor Cesar Ituralde informed him in a letter Thursday (March 3) that he is reinstated as member of the Council representing the IP.

Ituralde’s latest decision was based on the recommendation of Timuey Woy Lim P. Wong, Regional Director, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Regional Office IX, to reinstate Musa pending the finality of the decision for his removal.

“It is the humble recommendation of the undersigned that it would be just and appropriate to reinstate Ismael Musa and restore all his rights, obligation and privileges as a member of the SangguniangPanlungsod of Zamboanga City pending the finality of the decision for his removal,” Wong said in his letter to Ituralde which came after the vice mayor asked teh NCIP regional director for an official legal opinion and appropriate recommendation relative to the request of Musa for his immediate reinstatement and the restoration of all his rights, duties and obligations as a member of the City Council representing the IP. . “

Ituralde’s Thursday letter to Musa informed him his rights, obligation and privileges as a member of the City Council representing the Indigenous Peoples are deemed restored which include entitlement to back wages and/or such other benefits under existing rules and regulations of the office.

Ituralde said being the overall responsible and accountable officer of the City Council he is entirely obligated to act in accordance with the provisions of law, and enforce whatever legal rulings or opinions from whatever administrative bodies, “the same being part  of the ministerial duties of the office.”