Tribal leader files administrative, criminal complaints vs eight Pagadian City officials

December 12, 2014 9:28 am 

By Hirohito D. Cadion

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Dec. 11 (PNA) -– Timuay Langhap Rio Olimpio Lingating, a local Subanen tribal leader, has filed administrative and criminal complaints before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao against eight local government officials for causing his ouster and non-recognition as the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in this city’s legislative body.

The complaints filed by Lingating were against Mayor Romeo Pulmones, Vice Mayor Divina Grace Yu and Councilors Ernesto Mondarte, Bienvenido Culve, Ricardo Victor Ona, Cesar Dacal, Jr., Troy Asugas, and Ricardo Alajeño.

Lingating said Thursday that the subjects of his complaints were the ones “who initiated, authorized and voted for my ouster and non recognition as Ex-Officio member of the City Council, being the duly IPMR.”

Lingating said the same officials also continuously refuse to recognize “my reinstatement which is contrary to law and without legal basis.”

He said such a situation “had caused undue injury to me and the Subanen Indigenous Peoples community” of this city, an act and omission of which is punishable under Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

It may be recalled that Lingating was recognized and accepted as the IPMR by the 10th Sangguniang Panglungsod of this city.

Lingating, however, was no longer recognized and was virtually ousted by the 11th Sangguniang Panglungsod by virtue of a resolution after the 2013 mid-term elections that resulted in the changes in the composition of the members in the local legislative body.

Lingating claimed that his office at the City Council building was padlocked after his ouster.

He said that Pulmones requested for a deferment of his reinstatement by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NMCIP) until the holding of the General Assembly, “which never discussed the matter affirming the status quo of my appointment.”

He said the continued refusal to recognize him as the IPMR undermines the rights of the Indigenous Peoples in this city.

He even claimed that the local government officials “are not just against my appointment, but they are against the entire Subanen community.”

Lingating said he and the Subanen people decided to bring the issue to the Ombudsman as “to protest against moves to oppress us, to deprive us of our rights to participate in and decide on our well being and to develop ourselves as a people.” (PNA)

LAP/TPGJR/HDC/EDS

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