No car? No prob­lem for ‘lumad’ coun­cilor

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed­win O. Fer­nan­dez @in­q­min­danao

Datu Radin Ig­was of Koron­adal City said he had been stripped of his ser­vice ve­hi­cle due to “pol­i­tics,” leav­ing him with no op­tion but to saddle up in or­der to get to work.

KIDAPAWAN CITY, COTABA

TO— When a lo­cal official took away his ser­vice ve­hi­cle, In­dige­nous Peo­ples Manda­tory Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (IPMR) Datu Radin Ig­was did not chomp at the bit.

In­stead, he mounted his horse and trot­ted to the city’s Sang­gu­ni­ang Pan­glung­sod build­ing some 6.5 kilo­me­ters away from his up­land home at Barangay Perez.

“I can still at­tend the ses­sions,” Ig­was told re­porters. “A horse is [my] ve­hi­cle for mov­ing around.”

In a ra­dio in­ter­view, Ig­was said he was forced to take a horse to work be­cause Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evan­ge­lista, in a me­moran­dum, had stripped him of his ser­vice ve­hi­cle for al­legedly re­fus­ing to sup­port the mayor’s can­di­dacy.

He was sin­gled out, Ig­was said, “be­cause there were re­ports I was sup­port­ing an­other may­oral can­di­date,” Vice Mayor Bernardo Piñol Jr.

Ig­was main­tained he was “not sup­port­ing any politi­cian be­cause that is not al­lowed by law. As IPMR (rep­re­sen­ta­tive), I’m sup­posed to be apo­lit­i­cal.”

On Oct. 28, Evan­ge­lista sent an­other me­moran­dum to Ig­was telling him to va­cate his of­fice be­cause it would be con­verted into the Of­fice of the Deputy Mayor for In­dige­nous Peo­ples (IP).

‘No pol­i­tics’

In a DXND ra­dio in­ter­view, the mayor ad­mit­ted or­der­ing the re­call of Ig­was’ ser­vice ve­hi­cle and ask­ing him to va­cate his of­fice, but stressed that there was “no pol­i­tics” in­volved in those ac­tions.

Cit­ing a let­ter that Ig­was wrote him in Fe­bru­ary, Evan­ge­lista said the IPMRac­tu­ally asked for funds from the lo­cal govern­ment for his of­fice’s ren­o­va­tion.

Ig­was’ of­fice, the mayor ex­plained, will be turned into a liveli­hood train­ing cen­ter for IP women and will be called Kidapawan City Tribal Hall and Train­ing Cen­ter.

As for Ig­was’ ser­vice ve­hi­cle, Evan­ge­lista said it was ag­ing and needed re­pairs, hence it was re­called.

But Ig­was said th­ese were not the rea­sons given him when the ve­hi­cle was taken and he was evicted from his of­fice.

“The ve­hi­cle was re­called [sup­pos­edly] for the use of the city en­gi­neer­ing, and the of­fice for the use of the deputy mayor for IP,” Ig­was said. “I guess I was stripped of th­ese be­cause there are things I would not do, jobs I sim­ply can­not do be­cause th­ese are not within my man­date.”

Some Manobo tribal lead­ers have asked Evan­ge­lista’s ri­val, Piñol, to help Ig­was get back his of­fice and ve­hi­cle, but Piñol re­port­edly backed the mayor.

The Manobo lead­ers may just have to wait while a new of­fice for Ig­was is be­ing pre­pared, Piñol said.

In the mean­time, Ig­was as­sured his IP con­stituents that he would saddle up and re­li­giously at­tend the Sang­gu­nian ses­sions.

Gid­dyup! Su­god sa Kapi­tolyo!

—CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

DAILY TROT TO CAPI­TOL Datu Radin Ig­was and his mount

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