April 21, 2010 in Featured
April 21, 2010 in Featured
By LESLIE VALDEZ and JOEMARK RAMISCAL
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Naisayangkat idi Abril 10 ti maysa a programa idiay Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC), La Trinidad, iti probinsiya ti Benguet, ti panangselebrar iti Cordillera Day 2010.
Ti tema ti selebrasyon ket “Palawaen ti Panagkaykaysa, Itandudo ti Pudno a Pulitika, Kabenguetan, Sumikad ka!” Nagbayag iti agarup sangapulo nga oras ti programa nga impangrunaan ti Katribu Partylist.
Iti nasao a programa, adda ti tallo nga agenda kas iti panangiwarnak iti umisu nga panangusar ti baro a sistema ti panagbutos, plataporma a kayat da a maipatungpal iti bukod da a probinsiya ti Benguet ken ti pagilian a Pilipinas, karaman payen iti panagkampanya ti Katribu Partylist ken panangikampanya kadagiti dua nga agpaidasig a senador a da Liza Maza ken Satur Ocampo. Naiballa-ballaet dagiti kankanta, pattong ken panagsuro ti campaign jingles.
Imbingay ni Engr. Virgilio M. Aniceto, maika-5 a Katribu nominee, iti nasao a programa ti panangipakita ti panag-kaykaysa ti Kabenguetan ken panangitandudo iti bukod da a karbengan. Babaen iti panangipabuya kadagiti ladawan ti Benguet iti agdama ken ti pursigido a pannakilaban ti umili tapno itakder ti kalintegan da, napagkaykaysa ti amin iti rumbeng a turongen iti masakbayan.
Naipakita ti kasasaad dagiti umili iti Itogon no sadino ket nabaknang iti balitok ngem ad-adda a dagiti kapitalista ti agnamnam-ay.
Naipakita ti agtultuloy a pannakilaban dagiti umili iti Mankayan tapno itakder ti karbengan da iti daga ken kinabaknang ti lugar a saan ketdi a ti panagrekka ti daga ken pannakadadael ti balbalay da. Naipabuya ti agdama a kasasaad dagiti gardinero ti natnateng a kanayon a sumangsango iti nababa a presyo ti mula da ngem nangina ti abono ken farm inputs. Naipabuya ti kasasaad dagiti napukawan ti balbalay gapu iti nagsasaruno a bagyo nga inggana ita ket awan pay pagakaran da.
Kas panangselebrar, nakipaset met dagiti nadumaduma a munisipalidad ti Benguet kas ti Kibungan, Kapangan, Atok, Mankayan ken Bakun. Dagiti nasao a munisipalidad ket nangipaay iti kabukbukodan da a kultural a presentasyon kas iti Tingguian takik ken pattong a kas panangipaduyakyak da iti panagyaman da bayat ti napasaran da iti didigra ni bagyo a Pepeng.
Iti maysa a paset ti programa, nagrupu-grupo da tapno pagtutungtongan no kasano ti kada munisipalidad a tumulong iti panangikampanya ti Katribu Partylist karaman payen da Liza Maza ken Satur Ocampo a mangidaulo idiay Senado ken no ania ti istratehiya da, a kas napagtutulagan da nga agbalay-balay da nga agkampanya.
Kalpasan ti programa, nag-motorcade dagiti timmabuno manipud ti CCDC a nagturong iti market. # nordis.net
April 21, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance or Bayan) said the government should immediately remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the prices of electricity and oil products amid power rates hike.
Bayan said this move will provide significant and immediate relief to consumers.
Bayan Secretary-General Renato M. Reyes Jr. said that this month of April, the public was struck by the sudden significant surge in their electric bills due to different factors particularly the increase in generation and distribution charges.
“We should not forget that one of the greatest burdens imposed on consumers in the VAT on power which is slapped on almost all items of our electric bill,” said Reyes.
According to the group, there will be at least 10% reduction in power rates once the VAT will be scrapped. Generation and distribution rates are among the many items that have VAT. Bayan said that even systems losses and franchise taxes are also charged with VAT.
People Opposed to Warantless Electricity Rates (POWER) Engr. Ramon Ramirez said that the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is accumulating profits while consumers are suffering from the unjust power rate hikes. He cited as an example a heavily-taxed item such as power from natural gas is again taxed with VAT.
Bayan challenged presidential bets to come up with a plan to help consumers in looking for ways or relief from rising electric and fuel prices. Bayan said that many of the candidates are supporters of VAT.
Reyes said that many of those who voted in favor of VAT on petroleum products and electricity are running for national positions. He also said that the next members of the Congress will be the same people who are pro-VAT. “None of the front-running presidential candidates have so far shown a resolve to remove the VAT on oil and power,” Reyes stressed.
Bayan said that long term solutions to the power crisis that the Filipino people are experiencing are badly needed. Reyes said that the high rates cannot just be blamed to El Niño and the lessened electric generation capacity.
“The privatized electric power industry has placed the energy security of the country in the hands of the profit-oriented private foreign investors. It is no wonder that profits will always come first,” Reyes ended. # nordis.net
April 21, 2010 in Featured
By JAN MICHAEL R. VILLA and KIER LAYAOEN with reports from AILEEN REFUERZO/PIO Baguio
BAGUIO CITY — The City Council here approved the petition filed by the Hotels and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) to declare seven officials of the Filipino Society of Composers and Publishers Inc. (Filscap) as persona non grata.
Declared “unwelcome” in the city are Filscap General Manager Debbie Gaite,Vice President Heber Bartolome, Board of Trustee Trina Belamide and members of the Board of Trustees Mike Villegas, Mel Villena, Jovencio Aguilar and Danny Fabella.
The council’s move was prompted by the petitions of the HRAB and the Baguio Conventions and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) to declare Filscap and its officers and members as detested persons in the city for issuing statements “which are false, unjust, disrespectful, unfair and were intended to besmirch the honor and integrity of the City Government.”
“All these comments were made in bad taste, showing the quality of FILSCAP’s malicious intent. Them, unmindful of the fact that there is always a proper forum and the proper works to express their sentiments and disgust. We cannot let any of these hurtful words go unchecked,” the two groups noted in the petition which they personally presented to the body during the session.
“As concerned constituents of Baguio, we are alarmed by the impunity and unprofessionalism of these FILSCAP officers and members; that we are reminded that this imprudent act in not only irresponsible but also tactless and lacking in good taste,” the petition read.
HRAB members led by its President Anthony de Leon and counsel Jose Bonifacio filed the said petition in the City Council after some of the officials of the Filscap posted negative comments online. This was in reaction to a published picture of some Baguio businessmen denouncing the Filscap’s collection of royalties. Filscap officials posted statements on their online accounts like Facebook on the “stupidity” of Baguio people for their ignorance of the copyright law.
Filscap is said to be the administrator of certain deeds to collect royalties for artists in the country or abroad whose compositions are being used in karaoke bars and other business estabalishments.
Baguio businessmen refused to pay as they questioned the authority of the Filscap to collect royalties. Local businessmen also wondered how royalties reach the composers or artists.
In the petition, HRAB stated that “Their acts of defaming and maligning have not only destroyed the credibility of establishment owners but also all Baguio residents.”
The city council also recommended that those other people who are affected by the Filscap comments should file libel or slander cases against the Filscap officials.# nordis.net
April 21, 2010 in Featured
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — College and high school graduates of the Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services Integrated Educational Assistance Program (IEAP) were honored last April 10 at the Gladiola Hall of the Benguet State University.
With their parents, scholars of the IEAP were recognized for their determination to graduate with honors and continue with their service to their communities. There are 12 college and 8 high school graduates for school year 2009-2010.
The IEAP is now on its tenth year of giving scholarships to deserving students. Since its inception in 2001, it had granted scholarships to 76 college students, 62 high school students and 22 elementary children. Apart from scholarships, it also handled educational workshops like cultural and leadership seminars.
In his inspirational talk, Dr Willy Alangui, dean of the College of Sciences of the University of the Philippines-Baguio and a member of the Board of CORDIS, challenged the graduates and grantees to continue moving forward to help their communities.
He reiterated that graduations are community celebrations as they affirm the bond that students have not only with their parents but more with the barrios they come from. It is but fitting that celebrations like this look back to the goals set by the students themselves of going back to their communities for service, he added.
He cited examples of those who have graduated and are now happily serving in the barrios that need their services most. He noted that in a time when unemployment of graduates is the prevailing situation, IEAP scholars have high placement.
An alumni, “Manong” Benzent Pumay-o, challenged them to continue to serve the people – the wider society. Aiza Mariano, a high school graduate, who plans to be a doctor shared that the future is still uncertain but they promise to aim high not only for themselves and their families.
Adela Wayas, a college graduate, affirmed that graduation is not the end and not to think only of personal goals but more to change our society for the better. She said we also owe it to the next generation to give them a better future. Lawig Ngayaan, a graduate of Theology from Kalinga challenged his co-grantees to serve as instruments to help the downtrodden and poor like us.
A parent, Willy Kuan, was grateful for the effort exerted by the scholars to get good grades and promises of service to their areas. He noted that as parents they had not been with them 24-7 but they made sure that if they were absent especially during occasions, partner parents were there to take over. He added, “Agipagpagna ken agtrabtrabaho tayo para iti pagsayaatan ti kaaduan. Kayat tayo ti baro a gimong a naprogreso isu a nasayaat ta tumulong kayo.” (We are pursuing a struggle for the benefit of the majority. We strive for a progressive, new society and we are grateful you want to march with us.)
A fellowship dinner followed the celebration.# nordis.net
April 21, 2010 in Featured
By QUISHELLE GAHID, OFELIA EMPIAN, JOHN DOMINIC BAYHON and ESTELA SAYAN
Baguio City — Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regional Director Norberto Vitug said that BIR is intensifying its information campaign for the public to pay their taxes on time.
BIR’s “Making The Public Know” information campaign focuses six programs directed at outstanding tax payers to be given rewards for paying early and for tax evaders to be investigated, according to Vitug.
The six programs are: Iboto Mo, Kandidato Mo Nagbabayad Ng Wasto ; Operation R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) ; Running After Tax Evaders (RATE); Tax Payer’s Lifestyle Check ; Oplan Kandado and Premyo sa Resibo.
According to Vitug, the ‘Iboto Mo, Kandidato Mo Nagbabayad Ng Wasto’ Program focuses mainly on the candidates this May 2010. He said that the program serves as a reminder to candidates to withhold taxes for their procurement of goods and services.
Thus, the candidates who intend to have political ads through any medium must withhold 5 % from the total amount of the services or goods that they have availed. As of now, he added that they are surveying the candidates who are and who are not paying taxes properly. He also added that the lists of these candidates will be revealed on June 2010.
In another program, the Operation R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) ,aims to monitor the deceased if they still have remaining taxes that were unpaid. He added that revenue officers will be going to funeral homes, civil registrars, and hospitals in order to verify the records of deaths.
The Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program is to check for those who don’t pay their obligations properly. He said that last year, there were 20 tax payers in CAR who were under investigation but it turned out that they just missed to pay their tax and were not intending to escape from fulfilling their duty. Moreover, tax evaders will be penalized either with administrative penalty such as 20% interest and 25% surcharge or with a criminal case, depending on the case of the individual.
Furthermore, the Tax Payer’s Lifestyle Check program is for the BIR to monitor the people who have excessive luxury in order to let them pay for its appropriate taxes. He also said that the BIR conducts the lifestyle check program for private sectors by receiving information or complaints from individual reports while in the public sector, the investigation is based from their salaries.
He also added that the Oplan Kandado is a program where BIR will be closing business establishments who don’t pay their taxes appropriately and that their monitored sales reach to more than 30 %. Only one business establishment in Baguio City has been closed by BIR this year.
On the other hand, BIR brought good news to those consistent payers because through their program, Premyo sa Resibo, people will have a chance to win prizes.
Vitug also said that through this program, people will be encouraged to pay their taxes on time and for them to always ask for receipts to department stores and other business establishments.
Vitug further said that the public has no way of escaping the taxes because the programs will be implemented all over the country. # nordis.net
April 21, 2010 in Featured
By JAMAICA MAY DUCO and JEWEL JADE FERNANDO
BAGUIO CITY — Irene Timbreza, Provincial Coordinator of Katribu, in a recent interview said, president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo promised in her visit to the province on September 11, 2009 , “I’ll get Abra soft and hard.”
In the same press briefing, Abra Human Rights Alliance (AHRA) said, they assumed that the “soft strategy” PGMA mentioned meant her distribution of P500 as “pantawid-gutom” to local households in several towns in Abra.
They said the amount “is given to some households in some municipalities in the province to lead the people away from joining the New Peoples Army (NPA) and give their support to the Arroyo administration.” The cash distribution started last October 2009 and continues up to the present. The recipients receive the amount every three months through ATM, AHRA said.
On the other hand, AHRA hyphotesized that the “hard” strategy mentioned by PGMA is the deployment of fully-armed military men in the province now campaigning against progressive partylists such as Katribu, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, ACT and Akap Bata.
“They distribute letters and hold meetings telling the youth, peasants and even kindergarten pupils that Katribu and other progressive partylists are front organizations of the CPP-NPA and that senatorial bets Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo are communist leaders.
Timbreza said that the presence of battle ready military men only aggravates the now volatile political situation in the province. Nevertheless, AHRA continues to conduct educational activities to inform the people of their basic rights to assembly and information, on the automated election system and on the platforms of Katribu and other progressive partylists.
“When we challenged the military men who confronted us to present any proof that we were communists, they said “talk to our commander, not to us.”I asked who their commander is but they refused to answer,” remarked Timbreza.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By ELAINE JOY PINLAC
BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Health, Cordillera Administrative Region with the Baguio General Hospital Medical Center (BGHMC) conducted a campaign called “Garantisadong Pambata.”
The theme of the campaign is “Ways to save your children: Bring your children 6 months to 5 years old to your nearest health facility for the GP package of services”. This was held at the Under Five Clinic of the BGHMC last April 12, and will be continuing from April 13-16 then October 11-15, 2010.
The said movement is to benefit the children below five years old by giving them free vitamin A drops, immunization, deworming, DPT and anti-polio vaccines to avoid malnutrition and other possible factors that may affect the health of children. They even showed and demonstrated the proper way of hand washing and brushing of teeth.
According to Amelita Pangilinan, the DOH-CAR division head, there are many children here in Baguio and nearby provinces that are under the average weight. With this anti-malnutrition drive, the DOH hopes to decrease the percentage of malnutrition among children.
The program was also attended by councilor Erdolfo Balajadia, Committee of Health chair of the city council and Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr., who personally gave the supplements and other health services with representatives of DOH to every child present.
Part of the drive is to give further assistance such as breastfeeding training, care of newborn, integrated management of sick children, injury prevention and control, micronutrient supplementation, birth spacing. They also reminded the participants of the bad effects of smoking to the active and passive smokers, looking forward to a smoke-free environment.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By QUISHELLE GAHID, OFELIA EMPIAN and JOHN DOMINIC BAYHON
BAGUIO CITY — “Kakailyan, salakniban ti daga a nagtaudan”. This is the cry of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera.
Katribu aims to affirm this call in the halls of Congress and protect the land of the indigenous peoples in the Cordillera Region and other indigenous places. Katribu in making this call reiterated is not an enemy of the state. However, there had been reports that the partylist is experiencing unfair treatment in provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Reports from Ifugao, Mt. Province, Abra, and Kalinga claim that they are being wrongly accused as “communist fronts” progressive partylists. Katribu posters are removed and destroyed even though the supporters followed the Comelec’s postering guidelines.
According to Loreta Yucogan of Mt. Province, army personnel there urged the people not to vote for the four partylists namely Katribu, AnakPawis, Gabriela, and Bayan Muna for they are communists.
Yucogan further said that warning letters were distributed to the Sanggunian members of Bontoc and Sagada urging them not to support progressive partylists. The letter also served as warnings to those who support the said partylists. Yucogan added that letters with black ribbons were received by the municipal officials who are supporting the four partylists warning them that their lives could be sacrificed for democracy.
She also said that Barlig is the only place in Mt. Province that has no army personnel deployed but there are unknown people who approach community members, organization leaders, and barangay officials urging them not to vote for any of the progressive partylist groups.
The same reports have also been aired by other Katribu supporters in the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao and Abra regarding the partisan role of army personnel in the campaign for the May 10 election.
In Abra, Irene Timbreza said that military elements in their province called the attention of barangay residents, peasants and even children announcing that the Katribu party including Liza Masa and Satur Ocampo are leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
In Kalinga, Tony Ngayaan said that one week after the first day of posting of partylist posters, they noticed that posters were slashed and destroyed. “Ti epekto ti lantaran a pana-ngiparit ti saan a pagnagsuportar ti ‘progressive partylists’ ket saan a libre a makakampanya dagiti Katribu, Makabayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela gapu ta mabutbuteng da ken lalo dagiti liders ta mabambantaan ti biag da,” (The effect of the outright red-baiting of progressive partylists is that we are not free to campaign for them since we are afraid especially the leaders whose lives are threatened), Ngayaan said.
In Ifugao, Bernice Bunolna reported that the posters along the highways of Lamut and Banaue were also removed even though they followed the rules and regulations of Comelec regarding posting areas. She also said that the people of Ifugao were also warned by some people not to vote for the the four partylist groups.
Beverly Longid, Katribu first nominee, explained that the situation that they are going through is not an isolated incident. Longid said that seven Katribu leaders in Mindanao were accused of attempted murder and tagged as members of NPA. She also said that there were 13 campaigners in Davao who were imprisoned but after one day, they were released.
Longid said, “Ang tingin namin dito ay well-planned and systematic massive campaign against Katribu at mga kapatid nitong mga progressive partylist upang ilayo ang boto ng mamamayan at sa ganun ay hindi ito makakakuha ng sapat na boto para makaupo sa kongreso” (We view this as a well-planned and systematic massive campaign against Katribu and other progressive partylists to prevent people from voting for Katribu. Thus, we cannot be in Congress.).
Longid added that because of their active participation against injustices, they are accused as criminals and terrorists and that the election in the Philippines is characterized as ruled with guns, goons and gold.
Furthermore, they are also creating awareness that Katribu is a legitimate party list since August 9, 2008 and was also approved by the Comelec in the first place. Longid also said that the Katribu will be filing appropriate complaints before the Comelec, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) that there are concrete reports of defacements and removals of posters even though they are placed in designated posting areas.
With these incidents, Longid asked the Comelec to properly monitor the wrong accusations against progressive partylists because under Philippine election laws, there should be no biased treatment towards partylists and the candidates.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By KATHLEEN BALIGAD< LESLIE VALDEZ and OFELIA EMPIAN
BAGUIO CITY — Katribu partylist first nominee Beverly Longid claimed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is still unprepared for the coming automated elections.
In a presscon called by Katribu, Longid said that they have pinpointed four issues regarding the first automated election that may result to further disenfranchisement of the indigenous peoples. These issues are: availability of electricity, no signal for transmission, accesibility and unfamiliarity with the technology.
With regards to the availability of electricity, the batteries of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines supposedly work for 12 hours “but based on the test of the Comelec, it only lasted for four hours.”
Second, the signal for transmission of votes wherein most areas where indigenous peoples vote do not have signals for the transmission. This had been tested by all available methods including satellite signal, but it failed in the trial run in Benguet.
Third, many areas are located in the interior and the PCOS machines have not yet been brought to the areas where the voting will be held.
Lastly, many are not familiar with the technology and according to Longid, “Not all people are informed or aware of the new manner of voting like the shading. It is easy to say you shade the egg shaped thing. In reality, it is not so because the paper is so sensitive and you need to be careful in shading, otherwise the machine will not accept it.” However, the Comelec stated that an automated system will hasten the voting process and there will be no cheating in the counting of votes.
Comelec-Cordillera Administrative Region Director Julius Torres said, “Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang preparation pero hindi pa naman kumpleto, we will be getting there. In fact nakaplano naman na ang deployment ng mga makina. In terms of signals and transmissions, the Smartmatic conducted a survey and said na wala namang problema kahit na walang kuryente makaka-pagtransmit pa rin. The PCOS machines batteries lasts for 16 hours.” (Preparations are still on-going it has no0t been completed. The deployment plan for the machines is in place. Smartmatic has conducted and assured us there is no problem.)
Furthermore, the Comelec assured that this new system of election is more credible than the manual voting which we had before.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By MICHELLE ANN MARIE TUBERA and KHAREN JOY DEPALCO
BAGUIO CITY — An estimated 5 hectare-grass land was burned last Monday at 11:55 noontime.
The Bureau of Fire Protection Investigation (BFP) disclosed that an unidentified person was seen clearing a portion of a land and lit some accumulated pine needles and twigs and left it unattended when the wind blew and the fire started to climb and spread fast in a land area owned by the Abanag-Maliones clan.
Later on, due to the wind and fast burning spread of wilted grass or plant debris in the area, embers were carried to a nearby forested land within the property line of Mary Hurst Seminary.
Quick response from the Sunshine Fire volunteers and Baguio City Fire Fighters totally put out the fire. No injury was noted during the said fire incident.
Aside from this, two grass fires were also reported along Paterno Street, South Drive, Baguio City last Sunday about six pm and in Badihoy Guisad, last Monday at about one in the afternoon because of children playing with fire.
According to the BFP record, grass and forest fires are rampant now compared to summer last year wherein 16 fire cases occured while 38 cases of this year has occured.
On the other hand, Thomas Velasco the assistant of Forestry Matters of Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the long dry spell can be a possible cause of the increasing number of the grass fire is the changing of climate and El Niño.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By QUISHELLE GAHID and OFELIA EMPIAN
Baguio City — Bureau of Internal Revenue claims they have surpassed their goals for the first quarter of the year 2010.
Regional Director Norberto Vitug, said that they have hit their Php5 million goal and even exceeded it with Php120 million for the first quarter of the year. The breakdown of the excess of 120 million is divided in the different provinces of CAR: Mountain Province with 50.02%; Kalinga, 43.88%; Ifugao, 34.19%; Abra, 23.57%; Benguet, 25.01% and Baguio City, 16.18%.
BIR was only able to reach Php2.9 billion last year instead of the 3.2 billion target due to the global financial crisis and the typhoons that hit the country which greatly affected our economy, according to Vitug. Thus, BIR is intensifying its information campaign in order to urge the public to pay their taxes on time to avoid surcharges and penalties.
On the other hand, Tax Assistance Centers are made available in the 50 barangays and malls in the City in order to guide taxpayers in filling up forms and any other problems they encounter.
“Hopefully, the good performance in collection will continue,”Vitug said.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By VERNIE YOCOGAN DIANO
BAGUIO CITY — Are they back to test the waters?
In 2000, Happy Hallow residents dismantled the fence put up by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) over the Happy Hallow territory. If the fence was not dismantled, the upper half of Happy Hallow would still be part of Camp John Hay (CJH) and those residing there would have been driven out.
The area was delineated with the CJH and finally the certificate of ancestral domain title of Happy Hallow was awarded by the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in June 2009. The community’s long journey of application for ancestral land/domain rights’ recognition began in 1991 with the DENR then with NCIP after 1997.
Residents of Happy Hallow would have bought their own land for a fee of P500 to P1,500 per square meter for a maximum of 500 square meters per family using the Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) for housing, had they not opposed the tagging of homes conducted by the BCDA with the National Housing Authority after the failed fencing.
On March 25, 2010, a team of CJH rangers set foot on the land of Benito Esteban of the Paytocan clan. They started digging holes for posts on an access road developed by the land owner. The daughter of Lakay Benito upon seeing the rangers, cautioned them to stop but they just went on with their work. Hearing his daughter’s voice, he joined her. Seeing what the rangers were doing, he calmly told them, “Apay awan ti paltog yo? Agsubli kayo no bigat ta aggu-gubat tayo”. (Don’t you have guns? Come back tomorrow and let us have war.) The serious instructions made the CJH rangers stop.
Lakay Benito was expressing his rage on the utter disrespect of John Hay Management Corp for his family, the rightful owner of the land. The first who should know of any activity conducted in her/his property is the owner. But this did not happen in this case as CJH through the JHMC continues to operate on the framework that Happy Hallow is within the CJH reservation.
This despite the certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) given by the NCIP to six clans of the Happy Hallow as the title holders: Siso, Paytocan, Otinguey, Liwan, Pitlongay and Canuto who have long struggled to have their ancestral domain claim recognized by government.
The next day, March 26, a team from the JHMC met with the Barangay Council of Happy Hallow. The letter of Mr. Frank Daytec, operations manager of JHMC was rejected by the Barangay Council.
The letter informed them of JHMC’s plan to set up a ranger station to serve as a security control point. The letter further mentioned that the ranger station will safeguard the reservation which includes Happy Hallow from squatters, gathering of forest products including tree cutting without permits and illegal construction including repairs and extensions of houses.
Residents led by the Happy Hallow Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (HIPPO) and the Barangay Council staged a barricade on 29 March 2010 after the community meeting the day before. The residents asserted that JHMC should refrain from intruding into Happy Hallow especially now that barangay residents have a title on their ancestral domain. The barricade was also supported by the local KATRIBU organization, the partylist for indigenous peoples.
Like the previous struggle of Happy Hallow residents for their rights as the indigenous inhabitants of the area, the women were deeply involved as always. Nena Pataras, who has difficulty walking joined the barricade. Other women elders who stayed in the barricade were Pacita Medina, mothers and lolas of the Siso, Paytocan, Otinguey, Pitlongay, Liwan and Canuto clans. The youth were also there.
The incident once again displayed the unity of a community threatened of their land rights by a state agency. It is a story of a choice to continue living in peace and dignity or submitting to the plans and designs of JHMC.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By MIA PAGATPATAN
BAGUIO CITY — The City Council decided to resurvey the City Camp Lagoon in connection with the plan for the City Camp Satellite Market Project.
City Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said this project should be studied to see the real status of the land. After surveying, the plan of the market can then proceed. “We have expressed our opposition due to the recent flood brought by typhoon Pepeng, it may not be feasible to put a market in that area,” explained Tabanda.
Moreover, she said, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) should refer to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the disposition of the land and the City Camp Lagoon Task Force to conduct a survey to find a location for the project or to study if it is still possible to put a satellite market in the area.
Councilor Nicasio S. Palaganas suggested that one month after the City Camp Lagoon Task Force has surveyed the area, they can already come up with a general plan.
The City Camp Satellite Market Project was proposed by Vice-Mayor Danny Farinas last year and he has requested the Preferred Ventures Corporation (PVC) for the study of the project.
According to the Committee on Market, Trade and Commercial Office of Baguio, the feasibility study conducted by PVC was approved August 24, 2009.This study is the economic basis for the establishment of the satellite market.
As the summer capital of the Philippines, the Baguio Public Market has played an important role in the economy of the city for tourism and center of trade.
The study shows that to maintain its premier position, the City plans to expand the public market through upgraded satellite markets which aim to decongest the Baguio City Market, reduce the cost of going to market, provide livelihood and develop an income source for the city.
This project will be a two-storey building estimated to cost Php235 million based on the current prevailing market price to be financed through a bank loan amounting to P250 million with 10 to 15 years loan term.
Nonetheless, a concerned citizen who lives in the City Camp Lagoon stated, “Adu ti agreklamo ta adu kami nga aggigyan dita City Camp Lagoon. Mayat kuma latta nu mai-relocate met laeng ti pagyanan mi”. (Many will surely oppose this because we are living there. It would be good if they can relocate us).
As of now, the is still under review.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
Just like the Titanic.
This was how Rep. Jose de Venecia, Jr. one of the founders of the Lakas-CMD has descibed the current situation of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, after prominent members of the administration party started to defect to either the Liberal or Nacionalista Party in recent weeks. More are expected to abandon this “sinking ship” in the coming weeks, if we are to believe LP standard-bearer Sen. Noynoy Aquino’s claims.
So what is happening to this once mighty political machinery that was supposed to bring Gibo Teodoro to the seat of power in Malacanang? Has the kiss of death finally cast its deathly shadows over the political ambitions of Secretary Teodoro, as Speaker Prospero Nograles predicts the inevitable defeat of Teodoro in the coming May polls?
What is becoming clear, through all these speculations, is that Malacanang is not pouring in the necessary money behind the administration candidate as members of the party are expecting. Others are even suggesting that GMA’s secret candidate is really NP presidential bet Sen. Manny Villar thus the “Villarroyo” tagline being attached to Villar, something which the NP candidate vehemently denies.
If Malacanang money is not going to the Teodoro-Manzano campaign, observers have noted that enough money is going to congressional candidates and partylist groups whose nominees are known supporters and loyalists of GMA. This, according to them, is tied to GMA’s ambition to bag the Speakership of the House as a preparatory step towards a Charter Change and eventually her return to Malacanang as Prime Minister.
Apparently, Gilbert Teodoro, for all his intelligence and smartness, failed to figure this into his political calculations, naively believing that the outgoing president will simply fade into the horizon and retire from public life or settle for just being a representative from one of the districts in Pampanga.
Obviously, GMA and her cohorts are smarter than Teodoro. And the poor guy was simply taken for a ride. And rode he did in that political machinery that was really designed not for his political ambitions, but for his former boss.
Now that the cards are being dealt out slowly but surely, Teodoro should wake up to this harsh political reality. He will need more than a 2-day break to check on the loyalty of his partymates, who, when it comes to crunch time, live according to that fundamental political tenet which every politician worth his salt has always lived by: My survival first before those of others.
But Teodoro was warned early on not to trust GMA. He was told that his association with GMA is a “kiss of death” to his political ambitions. Naively, he did not heed these warnings and proceeded to launch a presidential campaign based on good intentions and empty reassurances. His campaign color captures the basic character of the green team: they are greenhorns compared to the wily and cunning GMA and her loyalists.
Some lessons are, indeed, learned the hard way. # nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
As a metalworker refines silver and gold, so the Lord’s messenger will purify the priests, so that they will bring to the LORD the right kind of offerings. Then the offerings which the people of Judah and Jerusalem bring to the LORD will be pleasing to him, as they used to be in the past.
— Malachi 3:3-4
Sexual Scandals in the Priesthood
For the past weeks including the Holy Week, the sexual scandals among priests in the Roman Catholic Church had been hitting the headlines. This is not new, of course, for those reading the history of the Christian church. Throughout church history, scandals like this keep coming out time and again showing to us the dark and mundane side of the church believed to be not only catholic but also holy.
In the spirit of command and responsibility, Pope Benedict XVI has been partly blamed because of the nagging perception that he has been cuddling the priests responsible for the sexual scandals, especially when he was still known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in charge of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Faithful.
In the US alone, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found out in their research that more than 4,392 Roman Catholic priests and deacons sexually abused 10,677 American children between 1950 and 2002. Just 615 of those incidents had been reported to law enforcement and only 384 clergy members were criminally charged, resulting in 252 convictions. It was reported that the pedophile priest crisis has cost the US Roman Catholic Church nearly $3 billion, but only a fraction of the perpetrators faced prison and little has been done to punish those who covered up the crimes.
Needless to say, sexual scandals like this will surely weaken the witness of the church and seriously affect the integrity of the church as an instrument of transformation in the world.
God’s Justice under Question
Prophet Malachi talks about God’s transformative action in his book. Malachi is one of those Israelites who returned to Jerusalem from Exile when the Persians through Emperor Cyrus the Great captured the Babylonian Empire and allowed people exiled in Babylon in 586 BCE to return home and worship their own God (Cf. Ezra 1-2).
In his book, Malachi has been debating with other people on various issues. And one of these issues is about God’s justice. Some people perceived God to be on the side of the evildoers, simply because they observed or even experience that evildoers prosper instead of being punished. And so, they asked, “Where is the God who is supposed to be just?” (Mal. 2:17).
This kind of question comes when people have become so desperate in their search for justice that seems to be very elusive. Perhaps, this is the same kind of question raised by the victims of pedophile priests in their difficulty to get justice, because those perpetrators of sexual abuse seem to be protected by the church leadership.
God’s Transformative Action
Malachi assured the people that God would take action to transform the whole situation through his messenger that he would send in the fullness of time. And it is interesting to note that the transformation will start not outside, but inside the Temple. It will start with the priests. God’s action through the messenger will be like a strong soap that washes away the stains of unrighteousness in the lives of the priests. It will be like a fire that refines and purifies the priests like silver.
The Biblical text says, “As a metalworker refines silver and gold, so the Lord’s messenger will purify the priests, so that they will bring to the LORD the right kind of offerings. Then the offerings which the people of Judah and Jerusalem bring to the LORD will be pleasing to him, as they used to be in the past” (Mal. 3:3-4).
The sexual scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church today shows us that the church is, indeed, a human institution composed of human beings. It is not actually perfect. It is vulnerable to all sorts of unrighteousness. Although the church has claimed in the Medieval Period to be the “Mother and Teacher” (mater et magistra) of the world, it has actually its own limitations.
But nevertheless, the church is also divine because it is called upon to be the mission of God in world. And as a mission of God it has to internalize in its life and practice what God wants the world to be. God’s Spirit, therefore, has to transform the church so that it will become an effective instrument of transformation in the world. The transformation of the church is a continuous process. Since it lives its life in this sinful world, “the church is reformed and continues to be reformed,” says the Protestant Reformers.
The church, therefore, is today’s God’s messenger. But even as God’s messenger it has to be continuously transformed so that it will become more and more faithful to the message of love and justice it carries and proclaims to the world.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By LEILANI DOWELL/WORKERSWORLD.ORG
A Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights, scheduled for April 19-22 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, will present a people’s alternative to the failed Copenhagen conference on climate change that took place in December.
The U.N.-sponsored Copenhagen conference was supposed to review and to renew commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions first fraamed as the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. However, the U.S. and other imperialist nations at the conference, at the behest of corporations, prevented the participation of people’s organizations and blocked any meaningful commitment to these goals. The resulting Copenhagen accord includes no legal commitments and no time frame to achieve emissions reductions.
On Jan. 5, Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, issued an invitation for the peoples’ conference that calls on “the peoples of the world, social movements and Mother Earth’s defenders, and invites scientists, academics, lawyers and governments that want to work with their citizens” to attend.
The call noted, among other things, that “climate change is a product of the capitalist system” and that the poor will suffer the most from the effects of climate change. Morales asserted, “In order to ensure the full fulfillment of human rights in the 21st century, it is necessary to recognize and respect Mother Earth’s rights.”
The statement expresses confidence “that the peoples of the world, guided by the principles of solidarity, justice and respect for life, will be able to save humanity and Mother Earth.”
Conference objectives include analysis of the structural and systemic causes of climate change and the proposal of radical measures to combat it; the initiation of a project to create a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights; and the organization of a Peoples’ World Referendum on Climate Change and a Climate Justice Tribunal.
Climate change a result of profit system
At a meeting in New York on March 24, Pablo Solón, ambassador of Bolivia to the United Nations, explained that the upcoming conference reflects the desire to deepen the discussion on climate change.
“Greenhouse gas emissions are not the cause of this crisis,” Solón stated. “They are an effect of a system of consumption, production and profit — a system of exploitation and a culture that helps to accomplish the goal of more and more profit. This system is not based on humans as they are, but based on what they have.”
Solón continued: “None of these points are part of the official discussion. There is no talk of the structural causes of this crisis, or the real deep costs. The real discussion has not yet begun. This is the main reason for the conference in Bolivia. Alternatives to the current ways of doing things must be built at a global level. … Climate change is not just about the weather — it is a discussion about ways of living. We must learn to share and build a new society based on sharing.”
Solón explained that the conference will discuss “the rights of Mother Earth” because nature should have rights as well, including the right to live, to exist and to regenerate. He asserted that as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, represented one step, there was now a need for an “environmental and social contract” to defend the rights of all.
As an example of the current crisis, Solón stated that a 30-year-old territorial dispute between India and Bangladesh over a tiny, uninhabited island recently came to an end when the island disappeared into the ocean — a result of rising ocean levels due to climate change. Sugata Hazra, a professor from the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, told Agence France-Presse that temperatures in the region had been rising at an annual rate of 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit. (March 25)
For more information on the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights, see cmpcc.org.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
By OFELIA EMPIAN
Sitting at a cafeteria table, alone and surrounded by different groups of laughing and carefree students, I think the whole world is having a blast while I am left alone, eating away my misery with a half-eaten sandwich infront of me. I cannot pinpoint the exact reason of my misery, these are just one of the moments in life where I am sucked into the vortex of deep thinking — that I am not yet ready to assume the full responsibility of myself, the full responsibility of being an adult.
In a few months time, I shall be graduating, just like the rest of my peers. I’ll be marching up the stage, in full graduation attire, toga and all, my name shall be called, and my diploma handed over, now ain’t that cool? But after the flashes of the cameras had closed and the congratulations heard, I don’t know what is next after leaving the stage with my diploma in hand and my sense of pride on my shoulders. I don’t know where all of these will take me.
I remember one of my advisers in high school who related to us the meaning of the word “commencement” in the phrase “commencement exercise”, which simply means “beginning”. After any graduation, he says it is the beginning of another level of learning. So we not only celebrate the end of a student’s level in learning, but more importantly, the start of another level for them.
For the kindergarten graduate, it signals the start of his elementary years. For the elementary graduate, his high school years, for the high school graduate, his years to spend in college. And for the college graduate, it marks the beginning of his steps into the professional world.
Talking about venturing into the professional world, questions start in my head. Will I be famous? Will I be rich? and man, I don’t want to hear me singing “ Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see…” while I lay in bed, jobless, with the sink full of dirty dishes, begging to be cleaned while cockroaches and flies feast on leftovers.
But this is just my mad mind imagining the worst things that could happen to a fresh grad or for a parent, a worst nightmare, i.e. becoming a “tambay” after graduation. Of course, many pessimists would then be expecting that many graduates will end up jobless, that the country will not be able to provide jobs for all of the graduates. What a shameful truth but I don’t want to be part of that. I’m not a fan of statistics trying to dissuade me from getting to where I want to be.
So as I continued my ponderings in the comfort of the four walls of my own room, trying to pacify my chaotic mind through my own dose of writing therapy, I found myself less apprehensive of the coming of days.
Slowly, I try to welcome it. Embrace it. Life after graduation will not be easy but it is still part of a new level of learning. It is learning found not in the comfort of the classroom, classmates, and teachers but learning that will be found in the solace of the workplace, workmates and hopefully, bosses.
I know tough times will be more evident in the adult and/or the professional world than the world I’m used to, but many adults survived and came out strong, victorious and successful in the path they have chosen. They are still living and breathing and walking this very earth with courage.
Which reminds me of what the prophet Deborah sang eons ago: “ March on my soul with courage!” And I say March on! even if the graduation song ends.# nordis.net
April 20, 2010 in Featured
Nina WENDY RANCHE at JOEMARK RAMISCAL
Kulang- kulang na isang buwan na lang ang bibilangin, magsisimula na ang madalian (kuno) na pamamaraan ng pagboto, ang paggamit di umano ng PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machine na umani ng milyun-milyong batikos at intriga. Ang mamamayan ay pipili na naman ng “dapat” na iluklok sa iba’t ibang posisyon. Ngunit hindi pa man dumarating ang itinakdang oras at araw ng pagboto, iba’t ibang kontrobersiya na ang nagsisulputan, mapaprobinsya at pangnasyunal man. Mga isyung (kasamaan) gumagambala sa makitid na isipan ng mga mamboboto (ilan). Iisang bagay lang naman ang pabalik-balik (hangga’t hindi natatapos ang eleksyiyon) at paikut-ikot sa magulo at siguradong lalong mas magugulo pa nating isipan, yan ay ang tanong na: “ Magiging matagumpay kaya ang eleksiyong 2010?” Malalaman natin ang kasagutan sa takdang panahon.
Sa papalapit na botohan, hindi lamang isyung pangnasyunal kundi mga isyung panglokal na rin ang dagsa-dagsang nagsisilabasan. Dalawa sa mga mainit-init na isyu (at mas lalo pang mag-iinit) ay ang biglaang pag-usbong ng isang progresibong partido mula sa rehiyon ng Cordillera, ang KATRIBU partylist ng Koalisyong Makabayan at ang pagtakbo sa senado nina Liza Maza at Satur Ocampo. Ang KATRIBU ay naglalayong ipaglaban at ipagtanggol ang mahihirap at mga naaapi (at maaapi pa!).
Sa kalagitnaan ng panga-ngampanya, isang balakid, banta at paninira ang humahadlang sa “tyansang” pag-upo ng mga kinatawan nito sa kongreso. Isang “black propaganda” ang nagsasabing ang Makabayan (Bayan Muna, AnakPawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, ACT, Akap Bata at Katribu) ay instrumento ng NPA o tinatawag na “mga komunista”. Salungat sa kumakalat at patuloy na ikinakalat na balita, ipinagtanggol ni first nominee Beverly Longid na ang mga paninirang ito ay pawang kasi-nungalingan lamang para ilayo sa kanila ang boto ng mamamayan.
Sino nga ba ang mas may sapat na basehan para paniwalain ang mga tao partikular na ang mga mamboboto? Isang simpleng tanong, sino ngayon ang naaapi?
Salot “daw” ang KATRIBU pati na rin ang mga independyenteng tumatakbong senador na sina Liza Maza at Satur Ocampo na pinaniniwalaang (ng administrasyon) lider sila umano ng Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army kung kaya ay wala silang puwang sa kongreso at sa senado.
Ano at sapat ba ang batayan (nila) sa mapanirang akusasyon laban sa Makabayan? Base na rin sa kasalu-kuyang administrasyon (estado ng bansa), sino nga ba ang dapat na tawaging “salot” ng lipunan?
Sa mga probinsiya ng Ifugao, Mt. Province, Abra at Kalinga, ay ilan sa mga lugar na nakararanas ng “nangangamoy bayolenteng eleksyon.”
Sa Ifugao, pinagbabaklas ang mga poster ng/nina Katribu, Lisa Maza at Satur Ocampo at pinagbubutas-butas ang mga ito kahit nasa tamang “posting areas.”
Ilan sa mga SBM ng Bontoc at Sagada di umano ay nakatanggap ng liham (death threat) mula sa di kilalang personalidad. Isa rin itong babala sa mga sumusuporta sa partido.
Sa Mindanao, 7 lider ng katribu ang naakusahan ng “attempted murder” at sinasabing miyembro daw umano ang mga ito ng NPA.
Sa Davao, labintatlung katao ang ikinulong at pinalaya rin pagkatapos ng isang araw.
May mga lugar ding inisa-isa ang mga bahay-bahay hindi para ikampanya ang Makabayan kundi para ikampanya na huwag iboto ang mga ito sapagkat sila’y mga “komunista.”
Ang mga kabataang nakakasaksi sa mga ganitong “bayolenteng” pangyayari ay nagiging “powerless” sapagkat nauunahan sila ng takot. May mga pagkakataon din na tinututukan ng baril ng mga militar ang mga tao para kumbinsihin na huwag iboto ang Makabayan.
Sa kasukdulan, nawawalan ng laban ang isang ordinaryong tao na isiwalat at ibunyag ang “kasalukuyang” nangyayari sa panahon ng makatindig-balahibong eleksyon.
Dito na pumapasok ang salitang “dominante”. Oo, ito ay isang patunay lamang na dominante ang mga may kapangyarihan sa panahon ng eleksiyon.
Kung tutuusin, ganito palagi ang nangyayari, marumi, at kung hindi man ganito, ibang kaso naman pero may bahid pa rin ng anomalya. Pagkatapos maluklok sa pwesto, iisa lang ang itulak-kabigin, ang salitang “inosente ako.”
Hindi kami taga-Kordilyera, kami ay mga Ilokano. Pero iisa lang ang aming pinaninindigan sa pakikialam sa isyung ito, kapwa ninyo kami mamboboto na nasasabik sa bagong paraan ng pagboto.# nordis.net