CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A group of young tribal leaders has criticized the present National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) leadership over questionable expenditures in the past few months.
The Kabataan para sa Tribung Pilipino (Katribu Youth) said Allen Capuyan, the NCIP commissioner, has made the commission “as nothing but a milking cow for him and his cohorts.”
The group said Capuyan has used his “position as a foothold on indigenous communities, to also carry out his agenda as the head of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict”.
This, altogether, the Katribu Youth added, works as a well-oiled machine as militarization synchronizes with NCIP’s interests to displace the indigenous peoples.
“Capuyan has been spared of accountability from his career of being involved with establishing paramilitary groups, electoral fraud, smuggling of drugs, and corrupting NCIP’s funds under the conditions that indigenous peoples have little to no access to basic social services. It is a disservice to our communities if we allow this to continue,” said Kim Falyao, Katribu Youth deputy secretary-general, in a statement.
The group said the Commission on Audit (COA) has consistently flagged the “unscrupulous spending” of NCIP. In 2019, for instance, illegal disbursements amounting to Php 286,759 were made at Region 11 but were not used for the intended purposes.
“They failed to utilize their Php 9.648 million budget, where the NCIP reasons to allocate it to previous accountabilities. However, COA countered that it should be attributed to their poor planning and implementation,” Falyao said.
In 2020, the group said, NCIP Caraga failed to collect the financial assistance from Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation from 2014 to 2020, which is tantamount to depriving Mamanwa communities of benefits amounting to Php14 million for seven years.
In 2021, NCIP spent Php 223,125 for a seminar, which they failed to provide proper documentation to prove the said event.
On September 23, 2022, the NCIP justified the procurement of Php 725,890 worth of gadgets to aid their “Zoom” meetings. This excuse has already been refuted by COA as they confirmed that NCIP already had the existing equipment for these purposes, the group said.
“The NCIP clearly violates the Admin Order No. 6 that ensures there is no extravagant spending by the government. Despite the crystal clear violations, the state remains complacent to mere justifications submitted by NCIP,” Falyao said.
Katribu Youth has encouraged the public to remain vigilant at the 2023 budget hearings and called for the removal of Capuyan. (davaotoday.com)