Musa stays in city council pending NCIP final decision PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 August 2016 16:17

By BHONG SIMBAJON

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, City Council presiding officer, has ruled status quo and has retained Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) Ismael Musa pending the decision on his appeal by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) en banc in Manila.

Musa has sought the NCIP central office’s intervention on a decision made by its regional office expelling him and appointing Kasanyangan Barangay Chairman Tungkuh Hanapi as the new IPMR to the council.

Iturralde said that the legislative body cannot act on any position with regards to the matter because even the NCIP regional office is not certain of the impediments of  Musa’s case pending the ruling of NCIP central office.

In an interview with RMN Zamboanga, Iturralde said he cannot be blamed for having a second thought on the decision made by the NCIP regional office because there was already a precedence on actions he made following the orders of the NCIP regional office which even resulted to the filing of case against him by Musa.

“I have religiously followed the decisions of NCIP regional office before, but it has consequences.  Si sigui gale kita, no guarantee gale si safe kita, so now legal documents should be followed and let us allow both parties to explore all available remedies under the circumstance,” Iturralde said.

The vice mayor said that he should not be misunderstood by his colleagues in the council considering that the issue about the IPMR representation has not yet reached its finality because the decision of NCIP cenral office has yet to be made.

“I am just very careful in order not to violate the rights of both parties. There is no political color in my position, I have to be fair in my judgment with basis. Definitely, we must respect the rights of each other here,” he said.

As a father, Iturralde said that he acts and respects the rights of his children, especially in times when his sons and daughters are seeking for the right and just actions for the good of the city.

He added that he respects other members and his partymates who were offended by his actions in last Tuesday’s session.

“Debe sila entende, necesita pa subi mas alto ariba para sabe si cosa ba el desisyon, ta abla gane sila na NCIP regional office cay baka hende man issue TRO nuay daw jurisdiction  el korte canila. But we were surprised cay ya tiene TRO si Musa. All of us were caught by surprise, so would you still believe them?” Iturralde said.

“The TRO was the basis of the dialogue and we have to recognize Musa to continue the flow of the discussion in the council, no puede man tu quel nega because with the TRO we go back to status quo having Musa in his post until NCIP en banc decision is made,” Iturralde said.

He also revealed that they have discovered something from the NCIP regional office that with the denial of the motion for reconsideration of Musa, it is final and executory and that as of May 4, Musa is considered to be out of council and declared the IPMR seat as vacant. However, Iturralde said that he was surprised because the said office themselves said in a prior communication to the Council, the decision on Musa’s status will not be final until they receive the decision of NCIP Manila, and this is reason that Iturralde ruled to wait for that decision in order to legally, categorically and specifically determine the status of Musa.

NCIP regional office confirmed an NCIP decision on May 4 to remove Musa as IPMR.

Hanapi, meanwhile managed to secure the IP representation Certificate of Affirmation from NCIP and the Certificate of Nomination from the City DILG last June 7 and has taken his oath last August 9. – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News