December 21, 2009 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) Spokesperson Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan said the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army is in the same sinking boat as the Ampatuan private army and other armed groups pampered by the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.
In an e-mailed statement sent to the media, CPDF said the most recent in the long-running series of splits in the CPLA led to the formation of a new and reformed group. “…But it is composed of the same old opportunist elements,” stated Naogsan.
According to Naogsan, the ouster of Mailed Molina and the new group headed by Arsenio Humiding is a result of a quarrel inside the CPLA. Naogsan added that the same thing repeatedly happened to the CPLA in the past as various factions squabbled over funds, weapons and jobs in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“As an armed group devoid of any ideological mooring, the CPLA serves as a special para-military force for AFP counter-insurgency operations in the region. Its members were involved in horrible human rights violations such as the abduction, torture, and murder of Cordillera Bodong Association chairman and Cordillera People’s Alliance vice-chairman Ama Daniel Ngayaan and the killings of scores of Cordillera activists and civilians,” Naogsan further stated.
Naogsan added that various factions of the CPLA serve in the private armies of warlord-politicians in Abra and other Cordillera provinces. He said that CPLA members served in the private army used by the Dy clan to land-grab in Isabela province. Naogsan said that in the past years, the Philippine National Police has been complaining about the armed robberies, extortion, illegal logging, land grabbing, drug dealing, gambling protection rackets and other crimes done by the CPLA.
“The current CPLA interim leadership keeps on harping on the same tired issues of the integration of more of their members into the AFP and the continuation of their supposed peace-talks with the government. This underscores their confused and laughable position. Peacetalks are held between adversaries. The CPLA is not an adversary of the government. In fact, the CPLA is pleading for more of their members to be integrated into the reactionary armed forces,” Naogsan added.
Naogsan said the CPLA even raises the issue of their imaginary peacetalks and their threats of going back to the hills whenever they demand more financial assistance and projects from the government. He lambasted the CPLA and said they should be ashamed calling themselves rebels or a “liberation army.” Naogsan said that the CPLA is simply a criminal armed group being used by the military in counter-insurgency operations against the New Peoples Army (NPA), the rest of the revolutionary movement and the people.
“The CPDF calls upon the public not to be deceived and to vigorously reject the purported new and reformed CPLA. It is nothing more than an armed gang of lapdogs begging for crumbs from an increasingly isolated regime. The CPLA must be immediately disarmed, disbanded, and punished for the various abuses and human rights violations it committed against the Cordillera people!” ended the statement.
Last month, the CPLA launched “Oplan Dalus” issuing a special order creating a task force to investigate involvement of CPLA members in squatting and demolition activities in Dontogan, Piripin Bato and Dreamland all in Baguio City. The Task Force was also ordered to make a special investigation on Molina’s involvement in other activities by representing CPLA without the supposed collective nod of the group. # nordis.net