Issue of February 11, 2018

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Mediation ordered for IPMR dispute
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

The issue of underrepresentation of some indigenous peoples in the selection of indi-genous peoples mandatory representative to the city council, as well as other issues surrounding the selection will undergo a court-annexed mediation.

A court-annexed mediation is a process conducted under the auspices of the court by referring parties to the Philippine Mediation Center Unit for the settlement of dispute, assisted by a mediator accredited by the Supreme Court.

The mediation will follow after Judge Cecilia Dulay Archog of Regional Trial Court Branch 6 granted the petition to issue a writ of preliminary injunction and instructed several parties from committing acts recognizing Roger Sinot Sr. as IPMR.

The court order issued on Feb. 8 also enjoined Sinot from sitting as IPMR and the city government from appropriating any budget for his salary pending resolution of the petition questioning Sinot’s qualifications.

Earlier, leaders of the Ibaloys, Kankanaey, and Kalanguya ethno-linguistic groups led by lawyer Manuel Cuilan, Paul Pasigon, Joseph Sacley, and Gaspar Cayat questioned before the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples central office Sinot’s election as IPMR and claimed they were excluded from the selection of IPMR. 

Sinot was previously issued a Certificate of Affirmation by the NCIP-CAR and has taken his oath before City Councilor Faustino Olowan.

The petitioners also filed before a local court a petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to prevent Sinot from sitting as IPMR.

The city government, on the other hand, filed as interpleader on account that it will stand to lose in case the NCIP central office decides that Sinot failed to meet the qualifications of an IPMR.

The court set the hearing for mediation on Feb. 20 at the Baguio Justice Hall. In case mediation fails, records of the case will be submitted to the clerk of court for re-raffle of the holding of a Judicial Dispute Resolution at another court.

The Philippine Judicial Academy defines JDR is a process whereby the judge (called the JDR Judge) employs conciliation, mediation or early neutral evaluation in order to settle a case at the pre-trial stage. In the event the JDR fails, another judge (called the trial judge) shall proceed to hear and decide the case.

Among the cases that undergo JDR as those that were not successfully settled in a mediation process.

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