Cordillera Militia Faction: “Fake” CPLA Unification

Bangued, Abra —Former Bucloc town mayor Mailed Molina, one of the founders of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) that split in 1986 from the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP), described as “fake” Saturday’s unification assembly in this capital town supposedly led by Abra Vice- Gov. Ronald Balao-as.

Molina questioned the credibility of Balao-as as member of the CPLA. “Who is he?” he fumed.

Molina urged the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Regional Development Council to be circumspect in dealing with the different CPLA factions and fake groups misrepresenting them.

On Saturday, Balao-as was sworn into as unified CPLA chairman in rites officiated supposedly by Cordillera Bodong Administration president Engr. Andres Ngao-i.

“It is true there were unification plans,” Molina said. Last April, different CPLA factions met with the National Development Authorities-Cordillera and other functionaries and agreed to a CPLA unification agreement.

“Leaders were assigned to make a proposal regarding the unification process,”Molina said. “So the process has yet to start without agreements yet who will compose the CPLA leadership.”

Molina, together with the late former SVD priest turned rebel leader Conrado Balweg, forged a peace pact with the then Corazon Aquino administration that resulted in the issuance of Executive Order 220 creating the present Cordillera Administrative Region, ‘but different factions agreed to still finalize it.”

The RDC-Cordillera is expecting to get the support of a unified CPLA to assist in the formation of a regional autonomy in the area.

“But with what is happening, Molina said, ‘the dream for autonomy which we have been fighting for is being spoiled by credit grabbers and fakes’.

Molina said the government “must be circumspect in dealing with the true CPLA members and genuine factions.”

At present, there are still around 3,000 card-bearing members of the CPLA in all 6 provinces of the Cordillera, the militia leader claimed. “These are those who were disenfranchised with Saturday’s fake installation of the so-called unified CPLA chairman,” Molina said.

“In deference to genuine CPLA members and genuine factions,” Molina said, “I will not recognize the bogus chairman installed last Saturday.”

Genuine CPLA members, Molina added, “must rise against the injustice that happened in honor of the long years of sweat and blood that was spilled in the Cordillera that dreamt of regional autonomy.” Thom F. Picana/