Palace committed to support quest for Cordillera autonomy

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez, Jr. assured the Cordillerans that President Rodrigo Duterte remains committed in fulfilling the government’s commitment to the growth and development, realization of lasting peace and the establishment of the autonomous region.

Galvez, who was the principal guest during the destruction and decommissioning of the 339 firearms that were turned in by combatants of the Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA), commended the Aside from out the continuous turning in of firearms by the CBA-CPLA, the Palace official revealed that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is closely working with concerned government agencies, the police and military, through the newly established joint evaluation and monitoring committee (JEMC), for the provision of financial assistance to the members of the group for their socio-economic and livelihood activities that will help in sustaining the upliftment of the living condition of their families.

Secretary Galvez stated that the government crafted a holistic approach in helping improve the economic condition of the involved individuals, their families and the community so that progress will be cascaded to the grassroots level.

He added that the OPAPP, concerned government agencies and the police and military embarked on a 3 to 5-year normalization plan that will translate to the surrender of the inventoried firearms and the upliftment of the living condition of the CBA-CPLA combatants through the provision of appropriate livelihood assistance for their own benefit.

Earlier, Leonardo Bun-as, one of the surviving signatories to the historic Mount Data peace agreement, expressed concern over the remaining limited time of President Duterte to advance the region’s renewed quest for autonomy that will again render the promised autonomy to the region as another failed promise.

Bun-as stated that autonomy advocates are keeping their fingers crossed that regional autonomy will be achieved while they are still alive so that they will be able to see for themselves how the establishment of the autonomous region will unfold.

The Palace peace adviser assured the Cordillerans that the OPAPP will play a key role in helping include in the President’s priority legislative agenda the region’s quest for autonomy while lobby8ing with senators and congressmen for the immediate passage of the pending proposed autonomy bills.

He recognized the clamor of the Cordillerans as a legitimate peoples issue that had been an unsettled commitment over the past several decades that is why the government is extending the appropriate support to the people for the realization of a long standing advocacy that is a product of previous armed struggles by autonomy stalwarts.

The decommissioning and destruction of firearms is one of the processes enshrined under the government’s secession of hostilities en route towards the implementation of a significant normalization plan geared towards the achievement of lasting peace in identified conflict-stricken areas in the various parts of the country so that development will start to flourish in such places. By HENT

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