THE SEAT for the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the Davao City council has been vacant since April as the chosen indigenous people candidate allegedly lacks the the required genealogical qualification. The National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) said Cherry Ann Ortiz-Codilla, who has been chosen IPMR following the prescribed selection process, does not meet the minimum genealogy of at least 25% of the represented tribe, in this case the Bagobo Klata. NCIP Davao Region Director Geroncio R. Aguio said their findings show that Ms. Codilla only carries 12.5% Ubo-Manuvo blood, 6.25% Bagobo Klata, and 2.25% Bagobo-Tagabawa. “Based on (these) findings, the NCIP cannot issue a Certificate of Affirmation to the selected IPMR because she does not possess that mandatory requirement of 25% genealogical qualification as well as her failure to have a five years track record certified by the NCIP as per required by the local guidelines,” Mr. Aguio said. The city council passed a resolution two weeks ago urging the NCIP to issue a COA to Ms. Codilla. Vice Mayor Bernard E. Al-ag, who chairs the council, said IPs are worried that projects intended for their communities would be affected without an IPMR. “They do not have a representative for the past twelve sessions already and we have to do something about this since we might be approving ordinances that might be stepping on the IP’s rights,” Mr. Al-ag added. — Carmencita A. Carillo