Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the city government’s position that there is no longer a need for an Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the city council is not a violation of the rights of indigenous peoples (IP).
The Baguio politiko explained that most of the sitting city councilors are IPs themselves.
Domogan said that it is unfair to call the city government’s stance as deprivation of IP’s rights.
But he clarified that critics have the right to express their dissent.
“Concerned IP elders have also the right to question the manner of selection of the city’s IPMR that is why they filed a petition for declaratory relief to allow the court to rule on whether or not the IPMR is mandatory for all local governments even those with officials who are mostly members of different indigenous peoples groups because it is only the court that could come out with an independent ruling or decision on the matter,” Domogan said.