IBALOIS in Loakan are set to lose their homes on Ibaloi day, Wednesday.
Ella Torcedo and 66 families of Ibaloi descent are hoping the government will not demolish their homes.
Ironically, Ibaloi Day celebrations are set on the day of demolitions, February 22 and 23 with the theme, “Pansigshan Pan-Aatngan (Let’s Work together for the Benefit of All)”.
Torcedo said Mayor Mauricio Domogan is unlikely to sign the halt in demolition they are hoping for.
“It has been a long fight for us,” added Torcedo who has sent a petition to the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) in a final attempt to save their homes which stand in a 9 hectare lot subject to a push and pull of wits and legality.
Torcedo represents the Sufo Kessel Lot and Homeowners Association who has appealed to the local council for help in an impending demolition set on Wednesday and Thursday by City Buildings and Architecture Office.
Weeks ago, aldermen backed the families asking for help through a resolution asking Domogan to forgo the scheduled demolition until the court case has been decided on the lots in question.
The local council authored a resolution backing the residents and united in imploring to the chief executive to stop demolition.
The order was issued by City Building and Architecture Office(CBAO) on December 21, 2016 by the authority of Domogan over the contested area of Teofilo Pilando and Aida Pineda heirs.
CBAO head Nazita Banez and Engineer Stephen Capuyan sent a memo to the homeowners informing them of the demolition.
Torcedo said an appeal has been made in the Supreme Court for the review of their case which is batting for a nullification of the court rulings, which heirs of Aida Pineda as well as Suffo Kessel have filed.
The petition hopes to sway the SC to reverse its previous ruling and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals in 2015 and its resolution in 2016 and sustain the validity of the Certificates of Ancestral Land Claim which the families are holding on to.
The demolition is set this week but residents are hoping against hope, it will be stopped.
The Ibaloys are the original inhabitants of Baguio formerly known as “Kafagway” where one of its patriarchs, Mateo Cariño, was named by the Philippine Centennial Commission as a Centennial National Hero in 1998. His bust is at the Luneta Park in Metro Manila with other Centennial heroes.
There are close to 1,000 ancestral land claims in Baguio which involve the indigenous peoples.
Years ago, Aida Pineda applied for a Certificate of Land Title for her lots was granted but the heirs of Pilando filed for a petition of cancellation of the titles and has been subject to a legal battle since.