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Nordis opinion columns

Ilocandia Rumblings: On the DOJ’s terrorists list

My friend, Atty. Manja Bayang, tagged me in her Facebook post, informing me that my name was included in the list of persons being tagged by the Duterte administration as terrorist under the Human Security Act. I also saw the related article published by and learned that I am accused of being a member of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Also included in the list are personalities from the United Nations and the Cordillera People’s Alliance.

Women’s Front: Babbai, labanan ti tiranya!

Selselebraran ti intero a lubong ti Marso 8 kas Sangalubungan nga Aldaw dagiti Babbai tapno bigbigen ti napateg a kontribusyon da iti gimong. Ngem, ammo tau kadi a daytoy tinawen a selebrasyon ket nangrugi kas Sangalubungan nga Aldaw Dagiti Babbai nga Anakling-et ken resulta ti militante a panangilaban dagiti babbai para iti karbengan ken pagimbaganda?

Weekly Reflections: Healing our land

We are living in a sick society. Our society’s illness is not just skin deep; it has seriously infected the very soul of our nation. Despite all our pious claims to be the only Christian nation in the Far East, we are considered to be the second most corrupt nation in Southeast Asia. Graft and corruption is like a cancer that is eating up the moral fiber of our nation. Indeed, our country has become “the sick man of Asia”.

As The Bamboos Sway: Where were you when Marcos was ousted? Where will you be when Duterte is?

I cannot get over the feeling that I missed being within a nodal point of Philippine history – that of being amidst the sea of people at EDSA that faced tanks with bare bodies; gave flowers to soldiers vent to shoot them if ordered to; prayed the rosary in front of phalanx of soldiers ready to pounce on them, and millions more from walks of life of lower strata from those being shooed out of Malacañang – Yes, I missed being in that February 22-25, 1986 episode when the murdering thief dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and his family had to flee from the wrath of People’s Power, news headlined across nations as the Peaceful “revolution that surprised the world.”

Commentary: Sereno rallying the young blood

Indigenous Peoples’ youth clothed in their Indigenous attire beat a traditional rhythm on Cordillera gongs as Supreme Court Justice, Maria Lourdes Sereno entered the University of Baguio Cardinal’s gymnasium. Legal luminaries from all over Cordillera stood and welcomed Sereno with applause and smiles along with cheers from the College of law students and other youth; along with Non-government representatives. The din of applause and cheers momentarily halted when UB BIBAK Alumni, Gary Donggayao, purified the gymnasium with an indigenous prayer, an “Ugayam”.

Youthspeak: Ifugao women strengthen the ub-ubbo

Ub-ubbo is a traditional Ifugao practice to strengthen the unity of women by helping each other. This practice should be nurtured and valued. However, it has eroded mostly due to the cash economy. It is not just the cash economy that has hurt Ifugaos, national policies and programs have adversely impacted their lives. Recently, women came together to listen, understand and each attested to the worsening plight in Ifugao.

Weekly Reflections: Law practice as a vocation

We are all gathered here today for this initial consultation to look into the mission and ministry of lawyers in the church. Our gathering today is founded on a firm conviction that there must a big difference between Christian lawyers and lawyers in general. For Christian lawyers, law practice is not simply a profession, a means to earn a living. But rather it is a vocation, a calling from God.

Commentary: Choices in dark times

There is the privilege of keeping to ourselves, on guarding our spaces and creative niche because we don’t want these tainted. There is the option to keep the peace because our words and voices might just add to the din and lose their power. Or worse, we become targets of the violence and terror that we fear. We might just decide to keep to the fringes and peripheries because being on the main road intimidates or frazzles us. Settling in the comfort of our sanctified position or sanctuary seems justifiable. We dare not wade into the mundane and murky waters of politics lest we tarnish our soul that we believe can transcend it all. We write only to soothe ourselves, announce our angst, and protect our byline. We paint to see only the colors and frame we appreciate and keep the viewer guessing; we sing only about inner worlds, lyrics that do not perturb the usual orbits. We designate our warning signs, keep to the safe ground, wary of any hint of external agitation or provocation. Oh, how much we engross ourselves with guarding our delicate cocoons, how much we protect our fragile bubbles that keep us in denial.

Ilocandia Rumblings: Excerpts from my interview by Harry Jacques*

I am a human rights and environmental advocate. I adhere to the belief that we can only appreciate nature’s bounty if we freely exercise our duly constituted rights; that only with the existence of just and peaceful society can we receive our fair share of our natural resources.