By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The town council of Sagada, Mountain Province passed a resolution calling for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop the names of seven idividuals included in the “terrorist list” as part of the DOJ’s petition for proscription of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA)as terrorists.
In a resolution passed on April 16 and transmitted to the DOJ on April 17, ths Sagada town council asked DOJ to drop from the list Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur for IPs; 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.
The Sagada council said that the seven individuals are “law abiding citizens”. The council also said that the said individuals are “mere promoters of social justice and defenders of the poor specially the indigenous group people”.
“Where as the above-mentioned individuals tagged in the list are personally known to this body and to the community of Sagada as common and law abiding citizens and that this body strongly believes that the tagging was made by mistake due to wrong notions on their usual peace involvement particularly on indigenous issues and concern,” the resolution read.
According to the council the said individuals mosly belong to the indigenous people of Sagada.
“Their relationship to the community is traced by blood and residency,” the resolution said.
Last March 26, the Baguio City council passed a resolution also calling for the delisting of the said individuals from the “terrorist list”. The Baguio resolution was mailed to DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II last April 3.
Sarah Dekdeken, secretary general of CPA commended the Sagada council for passing the resolution.
“The Sagada SB Resolution is another proof of the government’s baseless and malicious terrorist proscription list, which is only aimed at silencing political dissent and puts at risk the lives of indigenous human rights activists,” Dekdeken said in a media release.
Dekdeken reiterated their call for the courts to dismiss DOJ proscription petition has called on government to uphold its human rights obligations and ensure the safety of human rights defenders # nordis.net