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BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman reversed the dismissal of the former National Commission of Indigenous Peoples-Cordillera Administrative Region Roland Calde, allowing him to return to his post as NCIP Central Luzon (Region 3) director.
Calde told Rappler on Friday, May 19 that he re-assumed his Central Luzon post on March 20, almost a month after receiving on February 28 the dismissal of grave misconduct charges against him.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed the resolution overturning Calde’s dismissal on November 16, 2022.
Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Lauren Divino-Sudweste signed the decision for Calde’s dismissal on March 29, 2022. Maria Cecilia Cerdena, executive assistant III of the Ombudsman head office certified a true copy on June 13, showing Martires’ approval of the decision.
Roger Sinot Sr, who was then selected as the Baguio Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR), filed the case against Calde.
He accused Calde of discriminating against him and favoring a candidate from another IP group.
In dismissing the charge, the Ombudsman said Calde was not responsible for the delay of the issuance of the certification for the elected IPMR.
“The delay in issuing the Certificate attributed to respondent Calde is justified by the circumstances brought about by the problematic situation by the diverse ethno-liguistic groups in Baguio City,” stated graft investigation and prosecution officer Lauren Divino-Sudweste.
“Respondent proceeded with extreme caution and circumspection precisely to avoid allegations of discrimination,” the resolution read.
Sinot failed to assume office due to other several legal impediments.
In 2021, the NCIP issued the revised selection guidelines, which set the current 3-year IPMR term. The CAR regional office facilitated the reformulation of the local selection guidelines for Baguio in July 2022.
On January 6, Baguio IPs selected Maximo Edwin, Jr. as the new IPMR. He took his oath before Mayor Benjamine Magalong on February 3. – Rappler.com