Apayao IPs renew support to NCIP-CAR, hydro firm officials

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KABUGAO, Apayao – Genuine tribal elders of the town’s ancestral domain recently cancelled and revoked Resolution No. 2, series of 2021 that allegedly declared former National Commission on Indigenous Peoples–Cordillera Administrative Region (NCIP-CAR) regional director lawyer Marlon Bosantog, NCIP-CAR free and prior informed Consent (FPIC) team leader lawyer Atanacio Addog, Pan Pacific Renewable Power Philippines Corp. (PPRPPC) and its agents as ‘persona non grata’ in the domain.

In an unnumbered resolution, the tribal leaders renewed their all-out support to Director Bosantog, Addog and PPRPPC and its agents

The resolution which was signed by some 360 tribal elders in the town’s barangays underscored that it must be put on record that the ancestral domain owners have freely and voluntarily given their consent through the genuine leaders and elders for the construction of a hydro power plant that will be undertaken by PPRPPC despite the difficulties and adversities that they confronted ,not to mention the left-leaning groups that tried to allegedly disrupt their decision-making processes in relation to the project.

“We, the ancestral domain owners and genuine elders and leaders of Kabugao, Apayao, are expressing our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Honorable Commission of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for the approval of the application for the issuance of certificate pre-condition of Pan Pacific Renewable Power Philippines Corp. and admonishing the alleged elders or leaders for misrepresenting the Isnag people,” the resolution stressed.

Earlier, some alleged Isnag leaders who purportedly represented themselves as tribal leaders and elders declared Bosantog, Addog and PPRPC and its agents as ‘persona non grata’ in the Kabugao ancestral domain in an undated Resolution No. 2, series of 2021.

However, the signatories to the unnumbered resolution pointed out that the alleged Isnag elders are not ancestral domain holders or legitimate IP leaders or elders and that they have no authority to issue such declaration.

According to the resolution, the application for issuance of the certification precondition of PPRPPC for its 150-megawatt Gened I renewable hydroelectric power project filed in 2016 went through the rigid process prescribed by the NCIP Administrative Order No. 3, series of 2021.

The legitimate IP elders asserted that the decision-making processes were respected during the process and the right to give or withhold consent, the right to negotiate for the best benefit that the i-Apayao’s are entitled with, the rights, either individual or collective, were exercised freely and the consent were never vitiated.

Moreover, in fact, the same were safeguarded by the very people declared as ‘persona non grata pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations contrary to what had been projected of them by the illegitimate IP elders.

The concerned tribal elders stipulated that questioning the process and making misrepresentations is a blatant disrespect to the genuine elders and leaders that were already burdened by the IPs in representing the ancestral landholders.

The signatories called on the people to give to the genuine elders what they deserve since the aforesaid project is intended not only to benefit the few or a single family or clan but the Kabugao ancestral domain as a whole. By HENT

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