May 18, 2024

Readers (composed of my mother and relatives) of this column and my social media posts already know by now that this near-sighted Ibaloy writer is a staunch believer of freedom of expression or speech as long as this does not violate the rights of others. That’s the beauty of living in a democratic society like ours despite the fact that it is crazy, unfair, and elitist at times. Nothing’s perfect or permanent in this world, after all.
Democracy allows us to disagree with one another using peaceful means. So, let us write, post, shout, hold a rally or whatever so that our voices are heard by the powers-that-be or whoever as long as these are peaceful, not violating the rights of others, and that laws and regulations are adhered to. Much better to shout than shoot at each other. Just saying.
Anyway, Mayor Benjamin Magalong has signed a resolution passed by the city council adopting the articles of declaration against armed conflict. The declaration seeks to support the vision of a lasting peace, people’s participation in governance through peaceful means and the respect of all kinds of political ideologies within the democratic framework.
Resolution No. 42, s. 2020, says the Philippines is yet to end the longest armed struggle waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines; its armed group, the New Peoples’ Army; and its political arm, the National Democratic Front, whose objective is to overthrow the government by force.
Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año has asked local officials around the country to declare the CPP/NPA as persona non grata (unwelcome or unacceptable) to show their support for the government’s fight to end the communist conflict that has been waged for 50 years.


Here’s “Kafagway, Part II” by my poetic twin Gabriel Baban Keith: “Baguio is an Ibaloy/ Paradise/ Lost/ Outsiders have taken/ Over/ This once proud Ibaloy/ Nation/ Nothing is spared/ Even Bag-iw’s forest/ Reservations and/ Public lands/ Are squatted on/ By those who are/ More united/ More aggressive/ More cunning/ More connected/ Than Kafagway’s native/ Sons and/ Daughters/ Bow down your/ Heads and/ Weep/ Baguio is an Ibaloy/ Paradise/ Lost” (Advance Happy Ibaloy Day)


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May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.