April 20, 2024

In a press conference on Jan. 9, 2023, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Chairperson Allen Capuyan issued a public statement calling all NCIP officials and personnel to tender their courtesy resignation.
“Said call is directed to those who are no longer effective in the performance of their respective mandates and to those who are unable and unwilling to respond to legitimate burning issues raised by indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples and which have remained unacted upon for several years now, such that several NCIP personnel themselves have become a big part of the problem,” Capuyan said last year.
When asked if he would also tender his resignation, he replied on the negative, saying he will lead the investigation of erring NCIP employees.
A year later, Capuyan has tendered his irrevocable resignation through a letter addressed to the President dated Dec. 14, 2023. His resignation was made public on Jan. 8, 2024 during the flag-raising ceremony at the NCIP central office where he was given a “tribute” by the same personnel he previously dubbed as “no longer effective”.
In the same press conference, Capuyan said he has filed cases against NCIP personnel who “half-heartedly” responded to the problems of IPs. However, news the past year showed that it was Capuyan who was knee-deep in cases filed against him by the IPs.
Among those who filed charges are Isnegs in Apayao brought about the controversial approval of the certification precondition of two proposed mega dams despite glaring falsification of the signatures, and the contentious issuance of the certificate of non-overlap favoring one cement corporation within the ancestral domain of the Bago IPs.
It was learned that both controversial proposed projects is owned by a tycoon who also owns a petroleum company.
Meanwhile, who would forget NCIP Commissioner Gaspar Cayat, who in 2023, made headlines due to his linking of Igorots to the underground movement?
Cayat’s presence before the city council of Baguio to explain this was one of the most viewed sessions of the council on its social media page.
Cayat was the one who presented Capuyan’s parting message during the latter’s “tribute” on Monday.
Will Cayat also file his resignation?
By some indications, IPs will not be expecting a resignation from Cayat anytime soon.
While the NCIP is currently rebranding by weeding out the bad apples, there are those who still persistently remain. Some of them were even declared persona non grata by IPs.
May this new leadership and new face of the agency deliver what the past NCIP administration had failed to provide to IPs and ICCs. — NAME WITHHELD