Congressman Mauricio Domogan’s proposed amendments to the City’s 100 year old charter has been accused of being anti-poor, anti-indigenous people’s rights, and lacks public consultation. It has also been said to be a cut-and-paste production from the Local Government Code.
While the good Congressman defends his action to amend the City Charter as keeping it up to date with the times and “codifying it to make it more available to the people,” vocal individuals and peoples organizations have consistently raised the same points against every draft of the proposed amended charter since he first was elected a congressman of this lone district.
For the indigenous peoples, original families or the native Ibalois of Baguio, it was by that city charter that made the grabbing of their land, displacing them from their homes, farms and pasture range a hundred years ago look legal to the foreign culture now adopted by the greater Filipino society. No where in the proposed amended copy has this been recognized and therefore made right or attempt to make right.
Taking the lands and property of the natives without the benefit of due process has even been condemned by the very Supreme Court of the colonizing country in a landmark decision now known as the Doctrine of Native Title. The doctrine from which the present Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) is founded.
The proposed amended draft of the charter also perpetuates the Townsite Sales Application (TSA) system, which ‘unlawfully’ declared the community recognized Ibaloi lands as public land, subdivided it, and sold it to other people to raise funds for the city and to populate the then new Baguio City, a hundred years ago.
The lack of public consultation. Yes, the draft definitely lacks a free, prior, informed consultation with the people of this city. In a true and informed forum, our congressman would not be talking down at us against criticisms made of his proposed draft but instead be in a healthy informative discussion. And, the real and most recent copy of his draft of his proposed amendment would be available for study especially to the members of the critical press and not just to the PR practitioners.
If it is a cut-and-paste piece from the LGC why not just use the Code and refrain from using public funds to mount a Cha-cha campaign to support a poor copy of the Code? # nordis.net