July 22, 2012 in Cordillera
By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Chair Ifugao Governor Eugene Balitang in an interview declared that the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) no longer exists.
“As to the RPOC, CPLA do not exist anymore, they are supposed to be a changed group,” he stressed. Balitang explained that the signing of the closure agreement marked the end of the group’s existence.
The Ifugao governor further said the Regional Development Council relegated to the RPOC the resolution of the issues of two CPLA factions. The factions include the Arsenio Humiding and Marcela Bahatan and the Miguel Sugguiao and Andres Ngao-i.
Jovencio Balweg of the Cordillera Elder’s Alliance (CEA) and the brother of CPLA leader the late Fr. Conrado Balweg in an earlier interview pointed out that the issue on the said group should have ended a long time ago since they are already a part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He said the group is now just a para-military group serving as security guards for politicians and warlords.
Samuel Anongos, Spokeperson of Katribu Partylist reiterated that the CPLA is not worthy of such recognition and should instead be punished for the crimes it has committed against the people. He pointed out that members of the said para-military group have been involved even in many crimes.
Anongos also reiterated that CPLA admitted to the abduction and disappearance of Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) Vice Chairperson Daniel Ngayaan and the murder of CPA Coordinator Romy Gardo in 1987. He added that Ngayaan remains missing to date. He also mentioned that the convicted gunmen who killed journalist Rey Pedronio were CPLA members. Pedronio wrote about and exposed the illegal activities of the group.
Baguio officials in 1999 declared the CPLA persona non grata in Baguio City. Sometime last June, Vice Mayor Daniel Fariñas reminded CPLA members during a council session that they were never welcome in the city and told them to stop meddling in land problems and demolition of houses in the city.
It can be recalled that the closure agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Arsenio-Humiding faction of the CPLA and the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA) was singed at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang sometime July last year.
The Balweg faction however did not take part in the earlier closure agreement. The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAP) is currently talking to the said faction for another possible closure agreement.
Balitang added that the RPOC is willing to help in the negotiation with the other faction that refused to take part in the closure agreement if they are asked to. # nordis.net