Baguio Latest News

Removal of terrorist tag on Cordillerans sought

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution requesting the Philippine government to drop the terrorist tag against supposed human rights defenders who are residents of the city.


The resolution authored by all members of the local legislative body stated that some individuals who are residents of the city and were included under the government’s terrorist tag never join the revolutionary groups but are passionate and active in their advocacy on human rights and the indigenous peoples rights both locally and internationally.

“There inclusion in the terrorist list of the government did not only violate legal processes but now pose a threat to their lives and that of their friends and families,” the resolution stressed.

It added the United Nations (UN), particularly Special Raporteur Michel Forst on the situation of human rights defenders and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the chair of the Committee on Special Procedures and other International Organizations, urged the Philippine government to drop the terror tag on the identified human rights defenders as it is an unacceptable attack and an act of retaliation by the administration.

Earlier, several residents of the city who are advocates of indigenous peoples rights were included in the 600 individuals, who were branded as terrorists by the present administration.

Among the local residents who were included in the terrorist tag were Victoria Tauli-Corpus, a Kankana-ey from Besao, Mountain Province, chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous peoples from 2005-2010 and presently the UN Special Raporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Joan Carling, a Kankana-ey from Sagada, Mountain Province, a former Secretary-General of the Thailand-based Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact and a co-convenor of the indigenous peoples major group on sustainable development; Beverly Longid, a Kankana-ey from Sagada, Mountain Province, a former nominee of the KATRIBU party-list and presently the global coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement  for Self-Determination and Liberation; Atty. Jose M. Molintas, an Ibaloi human rights lawyer and a former member of the UN Experts Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Wendel Bolinget, a Kankana-ey-Bontoc of Mountain Province, a former chairperson of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and regular participant to the UN Permanent Forum on IP Issues; Jeanette Ribaya-Cawiding, a Kankana-ey from Besao, Mountain Province, former chairman of Tongtongan ti Umili and who is active in non-government organization work in the city and Joanna Cariño, Ibaloi kin of Mateo Cariño, a member of the CPA Advisory Council and a co-chairperson of Sandugo Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination.

The justice department tagged some 600 individuals as terrorists claiming they are members or supporters of the revolutionary organizations, Communist Party of the Philippines – and New Peoples Army which is in relation to their application to declare the said group as terrorist organization.

The resolution will be forwarded to the Office of the President, the Department of National Defense, the Department of Justice and other concerned offices of the national government for their information and appropriate action in the future.

By Dexter A. See


Baguio Tourist Attractions

Marker of the Philippine Commission's First Session in Baguio

This is the site of the building where the members of the Philippine Commission met from April 22 to June 11, 1904 and officially initiated the use of Baguio as the Philippine Summer Capital. The Commission was composed of Governor General Luke Wright, president, and Commissioners Henry Ide, Dean C. Worcester, T Padre Tavera, Benito Legarda, Jose de Luzuriaga, James Smith and Cameron Forbes.

Kennon Road and its Builder

Tourist-Spots-in-BaguioNamed after Col. Lyman W. Kennon, who was the final builder of the famous Benguet road, with the help of the industrious Cordillerans and foreign workers. Kennon road is the shortest and the most scenic highway linking Baguio and the lowlands. The lion's head can be found along the way. Final construction of this road was finished in 1903. Col. L. Kennon first ascended to Baguio in 1905. Of the original workers, the Igorots and Japanese were admired for their trustworthiness and willingness to work. Kennon was closed to traffic after the July 16, 1990 earthquake. It is now open to light vehicles only.

Diplomat Hotel on Dominican Hill

diplomatIn May 1911, the councils of the Province of the Dominican Order voted to construct a vacation house in Baguio on a 17-hectare property they had acquired when the American authorities were encouraging people to come here. Actual work started in 1913 under Fr. Roque Ruano and the building was inaugurated on May 23, 1925. To take advantage of the tax exemptions a school called Collegio del Santissimo Rosario was opened in June 1915 but due to the very small enrollment the school closed in 1917, reverting the building to the original vacation house. During WWII refugees first occupied it. Later the Japanese Army Liberation Forces had to bomb out the refugees from the buildings. The five hits left very extensive damage and for a time it was left unrepaired. Reconstruction was started in 1947 and completed in 1948 with most of its pre-war grandeur and beauty restored. In 1973, Diplomat Hotels, Inc. acquired ownership, remodeled the interior into a 33-bedroom hotel with modern facilities, but retained the unique and distinct personality of the Dominican Hill. In the 80's the hotel ceased operations due to the death of one of its majority stockholders. Plans are underway to develop this historical religious landmark into a tourist resort.

Philippine Military Academy

PMAThe Philippine Commission promulgated Act No. 175, which became the basis for the creation of the Philippine Constabulary in August 8, 1905. The school for the officers of the constabulary was first located in Sta. Lucia Barracks in Manila. Later in 1908, it was relocated in Baguio on the site known as Constabulary Hill later renamed Camp Henry T. Allen, in honor of the first chief of the Philippine Constabulary. With the passage of the Jones Law, the school was later changed to "Academy for Officers of the Philippine Constabulary" with a two-year curriculum. In 1908, the course was raised to collegiate level and later lengthened to three years with class 1938 as having the last graduates of that course. When the commonwealth government was established in 1935, the Philippine Military Academy was created in place of the Philippine Constabulary Academy. Under the National Defense Act, the PMA was authorized to maintain cadet strength of 350. Because of increased population, the academy transferred to Teachers Camp in June 1936 where it remained until WWII broke out. After the war the PMA headquarters was temporarily relocated at Camp Murphy and later at Alabang, while Camp Allen was being rehabilitated. Since May 1950 the Philippine Military Academy has found its permanent home at Fort del Pilar, Loakan, Baguio City.

The Mansion

The-Mansion-Baguio-CityThis imposing and majestic mansion has a long list of Filipino Presidents and American governor-generals. It has elegantly structured building and guesthouse. Its gate is patterned after that of London's Buckingham Palace. The Mansion has also been the site of several international conferences and a working office of the President of the Philippines during his visits to the City.

Camp John Hay

camp-john-hay-amphitheaterThis former American recreational facility is currently undergoing development as a world class resort. As of March 27, 1999, the golf course was completed and is now open, The skating rink, picnic area, and the mini golf course at the Scout Hill area are likewise open.

Asin Hot Spring

Located 16 kilometers northwest of Baguio, the resort's main feature is a swimming pool surrounded by thermal springs, lush vegetation and several hanging bridges. It is an ideal respite. This is now eyed to be redeveloped into a tourism resort along with the adjoining tourist attractions of Tuba and Baguio.

Bell Church

The-Bell-Church-of-Baguio-CityThis cluster of temples is located on the border of Baguio City and Trinidad Valley. Its exotic oriental architecture, pagodas roof, ornate gateway, dragon ornaments and Buddha - guarded windows gaze from atop a hill. The Bell Temple priest practices a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. One may even try having his fortune told.

Burnham Park

Burnham-Park-BaguioIt is the oldest of all Baguio parks. One can unwind from the tension of the day-to-day bustle by biking, skating or simply reflecting on the day's experiences amid a soothing garden backdrop of colorful flowers. It is thickly wooded and is a great place to have picnics and concerts. There are tennis and basketball courts, a football field, athletic oval and an orchidarium.

Mines View Park

Mines-View-Park-Baguio-CityAppropriately named for its breathtaking view of Benguet's mountain ranges where gold, silver and other ores were once quarried. There are souvenir shops around the park offering such items as woodcarvings, woven cloth, ashtrays, shell products and other curio items.

Wright Park

It is sometimes mistakenly called "Ride Park" by some that identify this pine tree park reserve for kiddy horse rides. A long stairway leads to the "Pool of the Pines", a 100 meter long pool of water lined on both sides by the famous Baguio towering pine.