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BAKUN, Benguet – The Bakun Indigenous Tribe Organization (BITO) bestowed its solid support for the issuance of the cease-and-desist order CDO) by the Cordillera office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-CAR) through regional director lawyer Marlon P. Bosantog and its subsequent implementation on the operation of the three hydroelectric power plants of HEDCOR, Inc.
Under BITO Resolution No. 1, series of 2021, the group stated that their solid support to the issuance of the CDO against the power generation company and its subsequent implementation is that the indigenous cultural communities and the indigenous peoples in the municipality are united in voicing out their sentiments, issues and concerns that should be addressed by concerned government agencies and the company.
The resolution stipulated that pursuant to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), the indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples (ICCs-IPs) of the Bakun ancestral domain in the exercise of their rights in the utilization of the State’s natural resources found in their domain, and following their customary laws and traditions and decision-making process have spoken on the project as evidenced by various resolutions that were previously passed.
Among the aforesaid resolutions include Resolution No. 1, series of 2021 revoking the memorandum of agreement (MOA purportedly executed by the representatives of the Kankana-ey and Bago indigenous communities and indigenous peoples of the ancestral domain of Bakun, Benguet and HEDCOR, Inc., NCIP and BITO dated October 15, 2019; Resolution No. 2, series of 2021 issuing a non-consent position with regard the operation of the 3 minihydro power plants of HEDCOR, Inc. located at Labay, Lon-oy and Tacbo, all situated within the territory of barangay población and Resolution No. 3, series of 2021 requesting the office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to issue cease and desist order with regards to the operations of the 3 hydro power plants of HEDCOR, Inc..
Further, the BITO also came out with Resolution No. 4, series of 2021 terminating any/or future talks or negotiations with the HEDCOR, Inc. regarding the continued operation of the 3 hydro power plants and Resolution No. 5, series of 2021 requesting the Department of Energy (DOE) to cancel the hydro power service contract issued to HEDCOR, Inc. for its Bakun hydro power plants.
On June 22, 2021, the prayer for the issuance of the CDO of the ICCS-Ips of the Bakun domain was finally granted after the same was issued by NCIP-CAR regional director lawyer Marlon Bosantog by authority of the Commission en banc.
As per order dated June 29, 2021 by the NCIP through lawyer Atanacio Addog by authority of the regional director, the implementation of the CDO for the benefit of the ICCs-Ips of the Bakun domain was given to the municipal government for execution. By HENT