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BAUKO, Mountain Province – The municipal government underscored the importance of establishing a Peace Center or Peace Museum within the historic Mount Data Hotel that will serve as a living testament of a notable historical event that transpired in the area some thirty-five years ago.
The Mount Data hotel served as the venue for the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government headed by former President Corazon C. Aquino and the Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) led by former rebel priest Conrado Balweg on September 13, 1986 that ended the hostilities between the government forces and armed group in the region to pave the way for the prevalence of law and order.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit stated that it is high time to revive the municipal government’s proposal to put up a Peace Center or Peace Museum where important memorabilia of the signing of the pace agreement will be preserved that will serve as an added tourist attraction in the locality to help in boosting the gradual and safe revival of the heavily impacted local tourism industry.
He claimed that the proposal to establish a Peace Center or Peace Museum within the Mount Data hotel was submitted by the local government to the late President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III supposedly to help in completing the legacy of his mother in the achievement of lasting peace in the Cordillera but the same was never given appropriate attention by the previous administration.
The local chief executive stipulated that the younger Aquino could have established a great legacy of the Aquino family in the Cordillera if he was able to realize the impact of the proposed put up of the Peace Center within the very hotel where his mother signed the historic agreement but it seems he was not given the right advice by his peace advisers that is why the proposal was never given the needed attention which could have made a big difference in the state of the tourism establishment.
Mayor Akilit said that the municipal government will try to make the appropriate representation with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to study, evaluate and assess the proposal to put up a Peace Center within the Mount Data hotel so that it will be able to make a difference in the current state of the tourism facility where it was just subjected to renovation by the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) in preparation for the expected influx of tourists once the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases will open the tourism industry.
Among the memorabilia and historical documents that will be stored in the proposed Peace Center will include the signed peace agreement, the tokens that were given by both parties to each other, photographs of the signing ceremony and other related activities, photographs of key personalities involved in the said historical event, and other important artifacts that could be attested by the surviving signatories and witnesses to the said agreement.
Akilit underscored the Peace Center that will be established will also serve as a multipurpose center where important gatherings of concerned government agencies, local governments and other stakeholders will be conducted for the benefit of aggressively promoting peace as a key driver of development in the country. By Dexter A. See