June 17, 2012 in Baguio City
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — According to Katribu Partylist President Beverly Longid, the city government officials should show their political will in addressing the continuous presence of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) here.
Longid said that the CPLA should have been evicted long time ago as they have no business in Baguio. She commended the city council in being firm with CPLA especially Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas who, at the city council session, told the Zone Commander and a few members of the CPLA that they are not wanted in the city.
In 1999, Baguio officials declared the CPLA and former Bucloc Mayor, the so-called army’s chairman, Mailed Molina persona non grata for act of arrogance when he led the march of para-military group in full battle gear along Session Road. Longid said that the present city officials should affirm this and take necessary resolutions or actions in getting rid of the CPLA in city. She added that the para-military group should not only be declared persona non grata but also be held liable for the crimes they committed.
According to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, CPLA members are involved in numerous crimes and other atrocities against the people of the Cordillera. CPLA took responsibility for the abduction and disappearance up to the present of Daniel Ngayaan, then CPA vice chairperson, on October 1987. Also, the CPLA murdered of CPA Coordinator in Abra, Romy Gardo in December 1987.
CPLA members were also involved in the killings of CPA members and their critics in Kalinga like Danny Tismo in 1987; Santos Gunayon on January 24, 1988; Quirino Ambasing on September 28, 1988; Antonio Laguinday on July 29, 1989; Cornelio Longan on November 28, 1989; Martin Agnas on August 30, 1990; and the Sabangan Massacre where they killed three children and wounded four others on May 26, 1989. Two CPLA members were convicted as the gunmen of Baguio-based journalist Rey Pedronio, who exposed the illegal activities of the armed group.
Longid said that city officials should not let the name of Baguio be tainted with the gross human rights violations by the CPLA. Longid also stressed that the CPLA should be evicted from the Cordillera Regional Assembly (CRA) building because they (CPLA) have no right to occupy the building. In fact, she added, the building was constructed by the Cordillera Executive Board (CEB) and named it as Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao and Kalinga (BIBAK) multipurpose building. She also said the lot along Harrison where the building stands is actually intended for low cost housing purposes for Cordillera students coming from far flung areas of the region and who cannot afford expensive dormitories and apartments in the city.
In his Ugnayang Panglunsod, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said that the lot should be utilized for government consumption. He agreed with the members of the city council who are proposing that the city government applies for land acquisition from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) over the lot for the use of the local government.
Longid said if the government is serious on the matter then the officials should not be contented with lip service but do concrete actions. She stressed that if the lot will be for public use, it should be intended for such. But first things first, the CPLA should be evicted from the premises. # nordis.net