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Sunday, June 12, 2011

1000 Days for James Balao

I don't subscribe to everything that the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA) stands for.  For one, I think some of its members are overly critical of the government and lack self-reflexivity in espousing their ideology.  I also think that while many of them are quick to condemn the military for atrocities committed against the masses, they also tend to keep  mum about the crimes of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People's Army (NPA) against the Filipino people.

On the other hand, I salute the CPA for being not just a "No-to-Government-Order" group but a vital stakeholder in Philippine governance.  I applaud its continuing drive to expose ineptitude and abuses of power in government, and its championing of Indigenous Peoples Rights especially as a productive member of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and a participant to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Throughout its 27-year history, it has committed itself to numerous programs, projects and activities aimed at empowering local communities as partners for national development. 

I also join the CPA today, in this 113th celebration of Philippine Independence, in its call for a no-nonsense action of our national leadership on the enforced disappearance of James Balao allegedly effected by military and/or police forces. Frankly, if it is an abominable Ampatuan or an unrepentant Ligot who (no, that) disappeared, I wouldn't give a damn save to say let them disappear forever.  But this is the case of a fellow Igorot whose only crime is to  advocate transparency and justice in society, and I am as outraged as others that this  poor fellow is yet to be returned to his family 1000 days since his abduction. 


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