Issue of May 5, 2019

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UP Baguio to host lecture on IP justice
by Roland Rabang

The University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) invites the public to a lecture on “Revisiting Notions of Justice in the Cordillera” on May 7, 3 p.m. at the College of Social Sciences Audio-Visual Room. 

Admission is free.

The lecture is part of the university’s Saliksik-Kordilyera lecture series under the auspices of the Cordillera Studies Center and the Program for Indigenous Cultures.

The lecture-series is sponsored by Dr. Maria Carmen Domingo-Kirk, educator, anthropologist and folklorist based in San Francisco, California, USA.

Speaker for this lecture is Dr. Alejandro N. Ciencia Jr., associate professor of Political Science at the UPB. Ciencia is presently the coordinator for the Master of Arts in Social and Development Studies at the UPB College of Social Sciences. He does research on judicial politics, indigenous peoples issues, political philosophy, as well as water security.

In “Notions of Justice,” Ciencia traces “dispute-settlement practices” by ethno-linguistic groups in the Cordillera from the American period up to the late 1990s. His study found a variety of dispute-settlement practices that “were almost always viewed as injuries against a collectivity” and not the person even if the offense is specific to an individual.

Ciencia said conflict resolutions require that “it had to heal the injuries suffered by the collective.” A collective healing is a requisite for dispute settlements to be considered “just,” he added.

The lecture taps into present discussions on Cordillera economy and presents arguments on efforts “to find contemporary notions of justice in the Cordillera,” Ciencia said.  He argues that “customary justice and laws” might be appropriate in the resolution of certain judicial cases among the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera.

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