CPLA group now member of Cordillera peace council

>> Saturday, December 29, 2012

By Redjie Melvic Cawis

BAGUIO CITY-- A former armed group in the region that  started the pursuit of Cordillera regional autonomy was accepted as a new member in the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council.

The Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) now known as the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development (CFPD) was accepted in the council during the fourth quarter RPOC meeting here recently.

The CFPD has been requesting to become member of the RPOC after the CPLA-Cordillera Bodong Administration  signed a memorandum  of agreement with the Philippine government last year  towards the group's  final disposition of arms and forces and its transformation into a socio-economic force.

CFPD chairman Arsenio Humiding earlier presented the  RPOC documents including registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission of their group proving that they have been transformed into a socio-economic group pursuant to the provisions of the MOA.

RPOC chairman, Ifugao Gov. Eugene Balitang,  said that the application of the CFPD to be a member of the RPOC was put on hold in previous meetings due to process  they have been undertaking on their transformation  as unarmed force.

The Philippine Army battalions based  in the Cordillera namely the 501st, 502nd and 503rd Infantry Brigades  were reportedly supportive of the move of the former rebel group to join the RPOC and help in peace and order efforts in the region.

The past months, the CFPD conducted profiling of its members in Cordillera provinces.

At present, more than 1,000 members have been profiled.

Through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Police Regional Office – Cordillera also  conducted  inventory and valuation of  firearms and explosives  of the CFPD members.

The turn-over was conducted in six provinces in the region but the police are still waiting for the final turn-over of firearms and explosives after only 386 were valuated out of the more than 600 which were previously reported by the CPLA.


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