BAUKO, Mountain Province – The Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army – Cordillera Bodong Association (CPLA-CBA) urged government to grant Cordillera regional autonomy they said they had long been pursuing.
This happened during consultation themed “Pioneer Cordillera champions coming together moving forward for autonomy towards federalism,” recently at historic Mount Data Hotel in this town with Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Sec. Jesus Dureza.
Dureza urged groups and entities from Cordillera to unite to attain autonomy during consultation organized by the Regional Development Council – Cordillera in collaboration with the OPAPP to explore engagement of advocates for Cordillera autonomy in reinforcing RDC program to achieve autonomy towards federalism. Dureza said the Duterte Administration is supportive of Cordillera autonomy and Bangsamoro of Mindanao.
He urged Cordillerans regardless of culture, tradition and belief to unite to show that they are one in pursuing regional autonomy.
“In the Cordillera region, madaming grupo, mayroon pang nagkawatak watak and we can understand that since the Cordillera has a very diverse culture, people and tradition; there should be one united effort from by all towards autonomy in the Cordillera region,” the Secretary said.
During the event, leaders and representatives from various factions of the CPLA with its political arm the CBA, voiced out their support to regional autonomy.
Despite the CPLA-CBA coming from the different factions, CBA president
Andres Ngao-i of Kalinga said they are one in supporting the autonomy status for the Cordillera region.
“We are not only a supporter of the fight for autonomy but we are reminders of the national government of the agreement of the CPLA with the government in attaining the autonomous status of the region,” Ngao-i added.
“We, the CBA-CPLA, are claiming from the government for their part particularly in granting the autonomous status for the Cordillera region which was part of the written agreement and signed in the historic Mount Data Hotel in 1986 with then President Corazon Aquino and the CPLA led by Father Conrado Balweg.”
“We want to be united, we want to return the time of Father Balweg when we are one group fighting for the Cordillera region,” he added.
Among the CPLA leaders present who shared their thoughts were Conrad Dieza, former Mayor Mailed Molina and the Cosagon faction.
Ngao-I said the CBA as political arm of CPLA and neutral to different factions, will form a technical working group to study how to unify CPLA factions in the coming weeks.
More than a hundred CPLA members came to the event and expressed their support to Cordillera autonomy. -- PIA CAR