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Baguio's Unsung Heroes: Human Rights Advocates and Pandemic Frontliners Honored

Join us in recognizing Baguio's human rights champions and COVID-19 frontline heroes lauded by the Commission on Human Rights.

 |  3 min read

The Commission on Human Rights commends Baguio's human rights champions and COVID-19 frontline team for their dedication and bravery. Photo: Neil Clark Ongchangco

Baguio City, known for its scenic beauty and vibrant culture, is also home to unsung heroes who tirelessly champion human rights and serve on the frontlines of public health crises. In a recent ceremony, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc lauded individuals and teams whose dedication has left indelible marks on the community.

Upholding Human Rights: Profiles of Courage

Jacqueline Jill K. Cariño: Empowering Indigenous Communities

Jacqueline Jill K. Cariño, an indigenous people's rights activist and community development worker, stands as a beacon of hope for indigenous communities in Baguio. Palpal-latoc described her advocacy as inspiring, stating, "Cariño's efforts in advocating for indigenous knowledge and empowering communities exemplify the essence of human dignity."

John L. Paredes: Voice for Persons with Disabilities

John L. Paredes, a social work educator and leader in the Pines Federation of Persons with Disabilities, embodies resilience in the face of adversity. Palpal-latoc commended Paredes for his tireless advocacy, noting, "Paredes' leadership in representing the rights of persons with disabilities amplifies their voices in society."

Atty. Reynaldo A. Cortes, a human rights lawyer and member of the Free Legal Assistance Group, epitomizes the spirit of pro bono legal service. Palpal-latoc praised Cortes' commitment, stating, "Cortes' dedication to providing free legal assistance to marginalized sectors reflects the essence of justice and equality."

Councilors Jose M. Molintas and Arthur L. Allad-iw: Exemplary Advocates

Councilors Jose M. Molintas and Arthur L. Allad-iw have demonstrated unwavering dedication to human rights advocacy within the local government. Palpal-latoc commended their commitment, saying, "Molintas and Allad-iw exemplify the strength and spirit of human rights advocacy, despite facing personal challenges."

COVID-19 Frontliners: A Testament to Resilience

In addition to honoring human rights champions, the ceremony recognized the Baguio lead contact tracing team for their exceptional efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Donabel Tubera-Panes: Leading the Charge

Dr. Donabel Tubera-Panes, as the team leader, has played a pivotal role in orchestrating effective contact tracing strategies. The team's dedication has been recognized nationally, earning them the prestigious Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in 2023.

Lt/Col. Maximo Sug-ang, Jr., Mischelle Junio, Jefferson Damoslog, and Shanry Roberts: Pillars of Resilience

The team members, Lt/Col. Maximo Sug-ang, Jr., Mischelle Junio, Jefferson Damoslog, and Shanry Roberts, have demonstrated exemplary commitment and professionalism in executing their duties. Their collaboration and dedication have been instrumental in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Baguio City.

Conclusion: Honoring Courage and Resilience

In conclusion, the recognition of Baguio's human rights champions and COVID-19 frontliners serves as a testament to the city's spirit of resilience and compassion. These unsung heroes, through their selfless dedication and unwavering commitment, have sculpted a better future for their community. As we celebrate their achievements, let us also reflect on the importance of upholding human rights and supporting those who tirelessly serve on the frontlines of crises. Baguio City stands stronger and more united thanks to these individuals and teams, whose courage and bravery continue to inspire us all.


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