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BAGUIO CITY – The army integration of the 216 former Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) and their next- of- kin is completed and set to have its ceremonial closure on November
9 at 5th ID, Camp Melchor, F. Dela Cruz in Upi, Gamu, Isabela.
The army integration is part of the fulfilment of Executive Order No. 49 series of 2011.
Under the Government of the Philippines- Cordillera Bodong Administration- CPLA Memorandum of Agreement, 168 former rebels and their next- of -kin and another 48 under Administrative Order No. 18 series of 2001 will complete the integration component of the 1986 Mt. Data Peace Accord
Under the EO No. 49 Entitled “Towards the Cordillera People Liberation Army’s Final Disposition of Arms and Forces and its Transformation into a Potent Socio-Economic and Unarmed Force” and for other purposes signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III is Mandating the implementation of the Closure Agreement.
Part of the agreement was to provide the former rebels employment and livelihood projects as a step towards disarmament.
This also accomplished the mandate to the AFP and the Department of National Defense (DND) to lead the winding down process of the livelihood programs.
The funding for the winding down process of the livelihood programs were sourced from the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) funds.
PAMANA fund covers sub-regional or regional projects or those create high impacts and interconnectivity on the target areas.
It can be recalled that some members and formerly members of CPLA questioned the implementation of the PAMANA funds and requested for the suspension of the fund and wanted to know how it can enhance the peace and development in the region.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles will lead the ceremonial closure and will be hosted by Major General Lysander A. Suerte of the 5th ID.
The Leadership of CBA and CFPDI formerly CPLA, Local Chief Executives and selected elders from the six provinces of the Cordillera were also invited to witness the event.
Since the signing of the agreement several CPLA factions emerged and each of them is claiming their legitimacy.
By JOSEPH B. MANZANO