December 6, 2022

The Commission on Elections approved the registration of the Independent Benguet Party (IBeP) as a local political party in Benguet in line with the upcoming May 2022 elections.

In a resolution promulgated Oct. 18, the Comelec’s Second Division has granted the petition for registration of the IBeP as filed by the party officials led by Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan.

“After carefully examining the records of this case, the Commission found that petitioner substantially complied with all the aforementioned requirements for registration as a local political party,” the order reads.

A verification report submitted by Comelec-CAR Director Ederlino Tabilas stated IBeP exists in Itogon, La Trinidad, and Tubay, all in Benguet.

In the petition for registration, the party was organized to raise and develop homegrown leaders duly supported by the electorate of the province by means of electing them into office.

“It specifically aims to address the issues of genuine local autonomy, empowered indigenous cultural communities, conservation and protection of the environment and homegrown leadership development, economic development and enhanced health care program,” the petition stated.

The party is based in Tuding, Itogon and was organized on March 15, 2021 at Pongol Adaoay, Kabayan, Benguet.   

The elected officers of the party are Palangdan as chair, Jodea Brendalyn Acay-Camuyot as vice chair, Aloysius Kato as president, Adriano Carantes Jr. as vice president for external affairs, Noel Ngolob as vice president for internal affairs, Jose Yamoto Jr. as secretary general, Bernard Waclin as treasurer, and Romeo Pocding as executive director.

The IBeP also stated it is not a religious sect or denomination and that it shall not pursue its goals through violence or any other unlawful means.

The party also informed the Comelec it is not supported by, nor does it accept financial contribution from any foreign government or agencies. – Ofelia C. Empian