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Kalinga blacksmith training to ban herbicides

BALBALAN, Kalinga — In a bid to address the problems brought about by too much use of herbicides, the Montanosa Research and Development Center (MRDC) conducted a basic blacksmith training and orientation for the establishment of a blacksmith at Sitio Tukod, Barangay Poswoy, Balbalan, Kalinga from June 13-15.

Threatened activists get overwhelming support

BAGUIO CITY — The Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) are overwhelmed by the outpouring support of local and international advocates and organizations in the campaign to nurture the environment and uphold human rights in Ifugao.

Benguet dads set conditions for Jarco MOA signing

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The La Trinidad municipal council has authorized Mayor Edna Tabanda to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Jarco Realty Corporation (Jarco) for the construction of a business center at the public market’s parking area in Km. 5, with terms and conditions.

“No mining policy” looms in Baguio zoning

BAGUIO CITY — Observations made by City Councilor and City Mining Regulatory Board member Engr. Michael L. Lawana about the lack of mining areas in the City Planning and Development Office’s (CPDO) city zoning plan led the council to believe that there is a no-mining policy in the works.

Baguio council probes Milo marathon

BAGUIO CITY — The members of the city council invited personalities of the 39th Edition of Milo Marathon to shed light on the continuance of the race despite the onslaught of the storm “Egay” last July 5, 2015.

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Editorial: When disasters come, are we ready?

Every month of July, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and its co-coordinating agencies hold press conferences where every participating local government unit (LGU) through its local disaster management risk reduction council (DRRMC) display their newly acquired equipment and gadgets that they claim make them more effective quick-response teams in times of calamities and disasters. They also announce that their personnel and so many volunteers have received adequate training on how to respond in cases of emergencies.

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Aywanan Ti Masakbayan: The cold truth about global warming

When it rains, it does not just pour; it drowns, it kills thousands. When it’s sunny, it is not just warm; it’s scorching hot, it burns, it kills. Let’s face it. Climate change is very real and is pressing upon us. We hear evidence everywhere, we see its effects to the world, we feel it on our skin. Agmauyong ti klima a kunkuna da.

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Crossroads: Rain, rain, go away (or may be not)

The dry season had been long, humid, dry and hot. The farmers did not know when to start to plow the fields and prepare for next planting season while the fields remained cracked, hard and dry. Many plants withered in the sun and production was reduced to minimal. Even tomatoes that in years past would have been so abundant they were left rotting in the fields showed shrunken, withering and small fruits.

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Dakami Ti Umili: Salute to a people’s martyr

I am deeply amazed of how the people of Davao and its nearby places showed their last respect to the late Leoncio Pitao aka Kumander Parago. In their thousands, people from all walks of life trooped to the Almendras Gym in Davao to witness the Luksang Parangal of their beloved Kumander Parago without any fear or apprehension. He must have been well loved and respected by his people as a person and a revolutionary. I cannot think of other explanations on why children, students, elderly, women, indigenous peoples, church people and politicians paid their respect to a fallen New People’s Army (NPA) commander in such a high profile activity and in a gym no less.

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Statements: Stop vilification of activists in Ifugao

Laya Migrant Youth for Change and Action, a community based organization in Daly City, urges the President Benigno Aquino III and the Philippine government to hold thorough investigations regarding the targeting, scapegoating and vilification of human rights and indigenous peoples’ activists in the Ifugao province of the Cordillera. Months ago, a poster mysteriously surfaced in the area identifying various community organizers in the region as soldiers of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the National Democratic Revolution of the Philippines. The organizers on this poster are simply human rights workers and community organizers for the indigenous community. They volunteer their time to improve the conditions of their fellow kababayans, empowering them to uphold their indigenous traditions. Due to these trumped up allegations, these organizers are now under constant and daily surveillance and harassment from officials of the local Philippine military.

SALUTE. Members of the New People's Army execute a gun salute during their ceremonies to celebrate the anniversary of the NPA. Photo grabbed from www.ndfp.net

Statements: Killed Army at Ifugao checkpoint is intelligence agent

Last 24th of June, operatives of the Nona Del Rosario Command, New People’s Army – Ifugao (NDRC, NPA – Ifugao), put up a checkpoint at the Tinoc-Kiangan Road where motorbike-riding military agents pass to get to the communities of Tinoc. This resulted in the death of Corporal Felix Pico, Jr. of the 54th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) and a confirmed covert intelligence agent. His civilian driver was immediately allowed to leave. The Red fighters withdrew from the site and guaranteed the safety of those who retrieved his body. They also made an initial turnover of his personal effects to local government officials. The rest of his possessions will be released shortly.

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Weekly Reflections: Understanding the historical context of biblical condemnation of homosexuality

The Bible is most often used as a basis of condemning homosexuality. Certainly, there are at most nine verses in the Scriptures believed and interpreted to be against homosexuality, namely: Genesis 19:4-11; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Judges 19:22-26; Romans 1:27; I Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:10; Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:10. Be that as it may, we must, therefore, take the Bible seriously and study it carefully.

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Students, bookshop host launching of ex-detainee’s book of poems

BAGUIO CITY – Former political detainee Ericson Acosta will be launching his book of poems and songs in Filipino, Mula Tarima Hanggang, on July 17, 2015, Friday, 5:00 pm at Mt. Cloud Bookshop. The launch will include musical performances and poetry by Ericson Acosta, Renato Reyes, Jr. of BAYAN and members of the Baguio community followed by an open mic and book signing.

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AsPac indigenous PWDs urge signing of UN accords

BANGKOK, Thailand — Indigenous persons with disabilities (IPWDs) from various organizations in 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region urged States in the region to improve their grim conditions by ratifying and implementing the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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Tribal war ritual at President’s gates

QUEZON CITY — Lumad leaders from Mindanao were joined by indigenous peoples (IPs) from Luzon and Visayas as they marched to President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s house in Times Street early Saturday morning to perform a Pandiwata ritual.

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Ifugaos call for GPh, NDFP to resume peace talks

BAGUIO CITY — Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) called for the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPh) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) during the Forum on Energy and Human Rights in Ifugao, June 30.

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Threatened Ifugaos vow to carry on the fight

BAGUIO CITY — “Im-imasen tayo a matay iti panagserbi tayo kadagiti kakailian tapno maisigurado ti masakbayan a saan ketdi a matay nga agkurkurakot kadagiti pondo a para koma iti umili (It is sweeter to die serving our countrymen to ensure a bright future rather than die stealing the funds intended for the people),” said Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) council leader Edwin Bomolyad.

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The woman came to share the truth

BAGUIO CITY — She paid P500 for a motorcycle ride from her village in Tinoc, Ifugao to Abatan, Buguias where she could get a ride to Baguio City so she could attend the Peoples Forum on Energy and Human Rights Issues in Ifugao on June 30. Sadly, she did not make it.

Ifugao folk asserts ethnicity recognition

BAGUIO CITY — Indigenous folk of Montabiong village in Lagawe, Ifugao assert their ethnicity and wish to be officially recognized as the fourth ethnolinguistic group in the province.

Sagada folks divided on new road

SAGADA, Mountain Province — “Study first before deciding” remains the best suggestion arising from the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (CSMV) Vestry, which hosted a multi-sectoral consultation-“workshop” held June 29th in relation to the proposed national road that shall traverse the mission property.

SAF kin asks gov’t to keep its promises

BAGUIO CITY — Family members of the 14 Cordilleran Special Action Forces (SAF) members killed in the Mamasapano raid call on the government to keep its promises.

Relocation site eludes Typhoon Pepeng survivors

BAGUIO CITY — The mayor of La Trinidad, Benguet is not keen on returning portions of the Benguet State University (BSU) segregated through a Presidential Proclamation for the relocation site of the Little Kibungan victims.

Kalinga gov charged at Ombudsman

BAGUIO CITY — For inflicting injury against a secretary of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the provincial governor of Kalinga again is in hot water as provincial officials, including his victim, has just recently filed administrative and criminal cases against him at the Office of the Ombudsman.