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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The various factions of the fragmented Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) put to an end decades of conflict after agreeing in principle for them to unit to heed the call frm the national government to get their acts together.
Engr. Andres Ngao-I, president of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA), disclosed the members of the different factions of its armed group, the CPLA, reportedly acceded to the earlier proposal on the structure of leadership that will involve the participation of the various factions.
Under the agreed CPLA leadership set up, former Bucloc Mayor Mailed Molina will serve as the chairman emeritus, incumbent Abra Vice governor Ronald Balaw-as will act as the CPLA chairman, Juanita Chulsi of the CPLA Kalinga will serve as the vice chairperson while Bagumbayan Punong Barangay Andrew Cos-agon will be the chief of staff.
Ngao-I added the CPLA leaders will take their oath of office before CBA officials on Saturday, June 24, 2017 during simple ceremonies in Bangued, Abra.
“The CBA leadership is elated over the smooth reunification process of the CPLA factions which will be a big boost in our renewed quest for regional autonomy. We have to compel the CPLA leaders to make a firm stand on the reunification process because time is of the essence for the sake of our advocacy on self-determination,”Ngao-I stressed.
The CPLA official said the filling up of the other key positions will be done after the leaders shall have taken their oath of office to allow the new leadership to make decisions on who will occupy the sensitive positions in the future.
According to him, the CBA-CPLA will now negotiate with the Office of the Presidential Advisers on the Peace Process relative to the unfulfilled commitments of the government from the groups 26-point demand that paved the way for the signing of the historic Mount Data peace agreement between Fr. Conrado Balweg of the CPLA and former President Corazon C. Aquino on September 13, 1986.
It can be recalled that during the gathering of the pioneer autonomy advocates in Mount Data last April 24, 2017, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza called on the different CPLA factions to unite to help strengthen the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy.
The CBA immediately convened the CPLA leaders who were present during the occasion and all of them agreed to put an end to the decades of their disagreements in the light of the present administration’s strong support to the clamor of Cordillerans for autonomy.
Ngao-I expressed his gratitude to the different CPLA leaders for making the reunification process easy so that it will send a clear message to the Cordillerans that the political and armed groups could easily get their acts together to help in realizing the primary demand of the CBA0CPLA during the peace talks for government to grant autonomy to the region.
The 1986 Mount Data peace agreement paved the way for the establishment of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) through the issuance of Executive Order No. 220 that combined the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio City from Region I and the provinces of Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao from Region II into one region.