April 15, 2024

NCIP chairperson must lead mass resignation

If there is one WHO needs to be removed from office, it should be National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chair Alen Capuyan, whose term is about to end this February.
Capuyan, a retired general, released a statement two days ago calling on NCIP officials and personnel to voluntarily tender their resignation. It is said to be directed to those “who are no longer effective in their mandates” and to those “who are unwilling to respond to legitimate burning issues of indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples.”
This is a lame attempt to downplay and cover up his accountability to his violations and alleged corruption and pass it simply as incompetence of NCIP personnel. This is a desperate attempt to remain relevant and stay in his position amid rumors of position-grabs in offices under the executive department.
Under Capuyan’s leadership, the NCIP has directly violated IP rights to land and free, prior, informed consent (FPIC) such as in the cases of indigenous communities affected by the Kaliwa and Gened dams in Quezon and Apayao, respectively. The NCIP issued the certificate of precondition for the said energy projects despite the opposition of communities.
It is also during Capuyan’s authority that red-tagging of IP communities, organizations, and leaders escalated. This has resulted in killings, declaration of persona non grata against leaders of IP organizations, and arrest and detention of IP leaders and advocates.
Capuyan should be thoroughly investigated on many reports undermining FPIC rights of communities, allegations of graft such as the P7 million worth of coffee table book, and manipulation of IP mandatory representatives to declare his critics persona non grata.
It is high time the NCIP should be revamped starting with Capuyan’s removal. The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) must likewise be abolished.
Both the NCIP and the NTF-Elcac, have violated the rights of IPs and their communities. — BEVERLY LONGID, national convenor, Katribu