By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY – Members of the City Council unanimously adopted and passed a resolution during Monday’s session, March 19, seeking to drop the names of Baguio residents tagged by the Department of Justice as terrorists.
The document titled “A Resolution Urging the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to Drop the Terrorist Tag Against Human Rights Defender Residents Of Baguio” was authored by Councilors Arthur Allad-iw and Faustino Olowan.
The resolution recognized the individuals as “residents of the city who are advocates of Indigenous Peoples (IP) rights.” It also pointed that “never joined the revolutionary groups but are passionate and active” on human rights and IP rights advocacy here and abroad.
It can be recalled that the Department of Justice filed a petition at Branch 19 of the Manila Regional Trial Court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army that includes names of more than 600 individuals.
Baguio-residents named in the petition are Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, presently the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Joan Carling, Co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development of the United Nations; Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation; Atty. Jose Molintas Human Rights Lawyer and a former member of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Windel Bolinget, Joanna Cariño and Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding, leaders of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance.
Cariño and Cawiding are also recipient of the Outstanding Women Leader of Baguio, an award given by the local government to residents who excel in their chosen fields and brought fame, honor and prestige to the city.
The legislation also said that inclusion of the said IP rights advocates in the list “did not only violate legal processes but now pose a threat to their lives and that of their friends and families.” A copy of the resolution will be forwarded to the DOJ and the UN. # nordis.net