November 27, 2011 in Baguio City
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Gabriela Women’s Party List (GWP) Representative Luzviminda Ilagan joins the Ibaloi association Aspulan in the ribbon cutting ceremony today at 9:00 am for the opening of the first Indigenous Peoples (IP) Center in Burnham Park, beside the city library along Kisad Road.
Support for the said IP center was formally requested by Aspulan during the observance of Ibaloi Day last February 29 this year. The project was funded through the initiative of GWP and efforts of the Ibaloi clans of Baguio and members of the Aspulan.
The building project site is part of the Ibaloi heritage garden at the Burnham Park, the ancestral land of Baguio Ibaloi forefathers Mateo Cariño and Juan Oraa Cariño. The area originally known as Kafagway was taken away by the American colonial government.
Cariño struggled with the American Insular Government to assert rights over his land holdings. He won the case in the United States Supreme Court creating the historical Cariño doctrine or the Doctrine of Native Title, where the inherent rights of indigenous settlers over their ancestral lands are enchrined. Cariño because of this became a symbol of the IP’s legal struggle for land rights.
Representing the City and assisting Ilagan in the ribbon cutting are Baguio City mayor Mauricio G. Domogan and Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara, Ibaloi councilors Popo Cosalan and Peter Fianza, Acknowledging the assistance of GWP for the realization of the project is Kathleen Tagle Okubo, officers and members of the Aspulan, elders of Baguio-Benguet Ibaloi clans, Mila Singson of GWP Cordillera and Jill Carino of Task Force Indigenous Peoples (TFIP). # nordis.net