Ex-NCIP head Capuyan slammed for skipping budget talks | Inquirer News

Ex-NCIP head Capuyan slammed for skipping budget talks

/ 01:18 AM September 12, 2023

Ex-NCIP head Capuyan slammed for skipping budget talks


MANILA, Philippines — The former head of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), who still acts as a commissioner within the agency, was criticized by a lawmaker for skipping the agency’s budget deliberations as a lot of questions were pointed at him.

During the late Monday night hearing of the House committee on appropriations on NCIP’s proposed 2024 budget, Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano asked current NCIP Chairperson Jennifer Sibug-Las where former chair Allen Capuyan was.


Sibug-Las replied that Capuyan was in South Korea to represent the agency.  She also noted that Capuyan is still part of NCIP, representing the Davao Region and Caraga.


Details of the travel, however, were not divulged during Paduano’s interpellation.

“Before the new chairperson of the NCIP will present the proposed budget of the agency, may I ask why the former chairman of this agency is not present in today’s hearing Madam Chair because I do believe that most, if not all the questions of some members of this Honorable committee will be addressed to the former chairman,” Paduano said.

“Madam Chair, former chairperson Secretary Alan Capuyan cannot be with us this evening due to a very important travel to Korea, (in) which he will be representing the agency in (a) meeting with our Korean partners, Madam Chair.  But I will do my best to answer all the questions that will be raised to our office, especially as regards those that concern our former chairperson,” Sibug-Las answered.

“Kasi budget ‘to ng agency in which he was formerly the chair, mas mahalaga pa, mas importante pa ‘yong schedule kay sa sa approval ng budget niyo sa appro?” Paduano asked.

(As this is the budget of the agency that he formerly chaired, is his schedule more important than the approval of your budget before the committee on appropriations?)

Sibug-Las said that Capuyan’s travel was already scheduled prior to her assumption as NCIP chair.  Still, Paduano maintained that while he has been supportive of NCIP’s mandate, it would be hard to defend the agency if such problems and priorities exist.


“Madam Chair, if you insist on that, you have a problem because supposedly, as I said, all the questions being raised to the agency several years ago and several Congresses (were aimed at Capuyan).  When you say that it was scheduled, then why not send other members of this commission?  Right?” Paduano said.

“For the record, I’ve been supporting your agency for the past several years also […] But if that is the case, we have a problem. It’s hard to let that go, so we’ll just put on record Madam Chair, I do not agree with the reason why he’s not present tonight, because again, we can send other commissioners there, he (Capuyan) should be here tonight,” he added.

Capuyan had been grilled in the past by lawmakers for his alleged penchant to red-tag individuals or link people to the communist armed movement.  During the budget discussions at the House in 2021, Capuyan was reprimanded after accusing a lawmaker of “spreading lies and propaganda.”

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said there might be a conflict of interest with Capuyan heading NCIP while also serving as the executive director of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Then, during the deliberations for the 2023 budget last September 2022, Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas moved to defer NCIP’s budget due to Capuyan’s alleged habit of red-tagging lawmakers.

At the plenary debates on the then-proposed 2023 budget, Brosas again criticized NCIP for allegedly continuing to spend so much money on conventions over the years, supposedly without heeding observations made by the Commission on Audit (COA).

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Brosas said that the agency — despite being flagged by the COA for holding conventions and meetings in high-end hotels or resorts in 2018 and 2019 — continued to spend extravagantly.

TAGS: Capuyan, NCIP

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