Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Attend This Open Forum If You Wish To Be Enlightened About The Ancestral Land Issue In Baguio City

Just recently, the issuance of a writ of possession by the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples) to the heirs of an Ibaloi elder stirred a lot of controversy. This writ gave the heirs of Piraso the right to take over Casa Vallejo, a building that has historical significance to the city of Baguio. The general public's main reaction is that of anger.

A group which calls itself the Save Casa Vallejo Movement penned an online petition calling for the declaration of the building as a heritage site. Directed to Felipe de Leon Jr., chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the petition as of this writing has over 4,000 signatures. Additionally, city councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda authored a resolution which also calls for the declaration of the building as a heritage site.

In January 14, a status quo order issued by the NCIP brought the issue to a standstill. In a way, it's a victory for the Save Casa Vallejo Movement. But this doesn't mean the writ of possession can't be enforced in the future by the Piraso heirs, as represented by Richard Acop. The status quo order merely prevents the parties from taking action until the matter is resolved. So, it's but temporary.

For a better understanding of the matter, it's highly recommended that you attend the panel discussion and open forum regarding the issue which is to be held tomorrow at the Bulwagang Juan Luna in UP Baguio. That's Friday, January 24, from 1 to 4 pm.

The panel discussion and open forum is dubbed Casa Vallejo and Beyond: the Ancestral Land Issue in Baguio. It's organized by the Governance and Public Policy Program through UP Baguio's Cordillera Studies Center.

If you have time, be there. UP Baguio is just a walk away from Session Road. It's very near the Baguio Convention Center, Sm Baguio and the University of the Cordilleras.