By KIMBERLY NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Two of the Baguio residents working with the United Nations who were named in the terrorist list included in the proscription petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) appeared before the city council on Monday, January 7 to express their gratitude to the local officials for supporting their bid to clear their names.
Victoria Tauli-Corpus, United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples Concerns and and Joan Carling, co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the Sustainable Development Goals appeared during the city council’s regular session to personally thank the councilors for passing a resolution asking the DOJ to remove their names including five others in the said terror list.
Tauli and Carling, who were both former chairpersons of the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) with former CPA chairpersons Jose Molintas and Beverly Longid; CPA founding member and council of elders member Joanna Carino and current chairperson Windel Bolinget; and former Chairperson Tongtongan ti Umili (TTU-CPA Metro-Baguio) and current third nominee of Act Teacher’s Partylist Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding were among the more than 600 individuals included in the DOJ’s “terrorist list”.
Molintas was also a former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).
Last March, the Baguio City Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 92 urging the national government to remove the names of the seven Baguio residents from the DOJ list. Councilors Arthur Allad-iw and Faustino Olowan introduced the document which was adopted by the body as authored by all.
“The above individuals never joined the revolutionary groups but are passionate and active in their advocacy of human rights and the indigenous people’s rights, both local and international,” the resolution said.
The resolution also said that the inclusion of their names is not just a violation of legal process but poses a threat to their lives as they are vulnerable to arrests and other form of harassment or worst, political assassinations.
In August the courts approved the petition of Corpus and Molintas to be removed from the list. The five others also filed motions with the courts seeking the delisting of their names.
Corpus said that the council resolution meant a lot and was very useful in her removal from the Justice Department’s “terrorists” list. She said that the council’s move shows how the community where she belongs displayed its affection to one of its members.
Carling said the action of the councilors to stand with them against the government’s petition is a stand for human rights. # nordis.net