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The City Government of Isabela with the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Basilan Provincial Office conducted the Oath-taking Ceremony for the Selected Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) of 11 Barangays in Isabela City, Basilan on July 28 at the Isabela City Hall Lobby.

Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman who administered the oath was moved to tears as she saw the different indigenous representatives during the program. She realized that, finally, one of her visions had come to life. As she reminisced about her small encounter with an indigenous member of Isabela City, she remarked, “We have to take care of this because it belongs here (Isabela City). We have so much to learn from them.” The same was echoed in his remarks by Basilan Lone District Representative and Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman who graced the occasion.

Meanwhile, Atty. Pinky Grace Pareja, the Ethnographic Commissioner of NCIP Northern and Western Mindanao, acknowledged the many initiatives of the City Government in advancing the welfare of IP communities, expressing gratitude by saying: “Thank you for protecting the rights of the Indigenous people here in Isabela City.”

The 11 selected barangays with Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representatives (IPMRs) who took their oath were the following:

Balatanay – Abdurasid Omar

Cabunbata – Delia Anding

Kapatagan Grande – Abdasul Tipuan

Kaumpurnah Zone I – Jamalul Habibun

Kaumpurnah Zone II – Amina Asmara

Kumalarang – Ahyar Ismael

Maligue – Juriya Hassim

Marang-Marang – Monisa Castillo

Masola – Sahak Addala

Small Kapatagan – Haslim Sabturani

Tampalan – Romano Alih

Also present to lend their support were Isabela City IPMR Councilor Mary May Julhari, NCIP Basilan Provincial Officer Engr. George Jocutan, NCIP Basilan Provincial Office Legal Officer Atty. Gibran Abubakar, DILG Isabela City FOO CLGOO Pilar Gudio, and Executive Assistant on IP Affairs Norhaya Diabo-Macusang.

With Mayor Turabin-Hataman’s steadfast support and their newly appointed mandatory representative, the indigenous peoples communities are ready to embark on a journey toward progress, cultural preservation, and true inclusivity in the governance of Isabela City, Basilan. (Words by C. Lim/Photos by M. Santos, CIO)