BONTOC, Mountain Province — Another round of talks targeted at clarifying legalities in the implementation of the recognized Batangan Systems of Tadian, Besao and Sagada took place August 7th at the Sanggunian Panlalawigan Hall, here.
The story of the Cordillera people’s movement to overcome discrimination and pursue self determination as a distinct people is a remarkable experience in social change.
If there was a time in history that ignited Cordillera unity, it would be that period when the dictator Marcos planned to build the World Bank-funded Chico River Basin Hydroelectric Dam project.
Thirty-four years ago, Macliing Dulag died, in defense of the ili and the ancestral land from the Chico River Basin Hydroelectric Dam Project of the World Bank during the Marcos Dictatorship. It was a successful fight against imperialist plunder and a triumphant assertion of indigenous peoples’ self-determination.
Remember, our grandparents barricaded, lobbied, forged wider unity, sacrificed their lives and took arms to defend this land.
Fast forward to 2011, CPLA was supposedly transformed into a socio economic group through a Memo of Agreement with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. This should have terminated CPLA as it converted into the CFPD (Cordillera Formation for Peace and Development) which allegedly is a part of Oplan Bayanihan for counter-insurgency.