By Arjane Faith Paala

PHOTO: Sagisag

Nas Daily is under fire as the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) reported on Sunday that Apo Whang-od, Kalinga mambabatok, did not consent to teach Kalinga Art of Tattooing in Nas Academy.  

NCIP’s investigation concluded that Whang-od was ‘not aware of any contract and she did not affix her thumb mark in any contract for this account.’

According to the agency’s analysis, the thumb mark in the Nas Academy contract and the one Whang-od affixed herself in a clean piece of paper showed ‘apparent disparity,’ resulting in a need for further forensic study. 

Arab-Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin, widely known as Nas Daily, released a video on August 5 broadcasting the tattoo artist’s contract signing and authorization to the project which contradicts NCIP’s statement.

However, Estella Pangladao, Whang-od’s representative, insisted they did not sign any contract except for one that permits filming, interview, photography, and release of such. 

NCIP called Yassin’s contract ‘grossly onerous’ and offered assistance in case Whang-od or the community decides to take legal actions against the vlogger.

Meanwhile, the elders and leaders of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Kalinga emphasized that the said project may lead to the ‘demise of their culture driven tourism industry.’

As what is written in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, proponents/researchers must first seek the authorization of NCIP and the concerned community before conducting any activity that involves Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices.