Kalinga condemns recruitment by Cordillera People’s Liberation Army

LAGAWE, Ifugao — The provincial government condemns the recruitment activities of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) in the province, a local official said on Monday.

“There is a PPOC (Provincial Peace and Order Council) resolution condemning the recruitment activities of the CPLA (Molina faction) in the province and telling them to stop,” said Andy Ngao-I, co-chairman of the PPOC.

Ngao-I said the resolution was passed in March.

The CPLA is an armed militant group founded by the late rebel priest Conrado Balweg. Among the founders were former Bucloc, Abra Mayor Mailed Molina.

Ngao-I said the CPLA uses as a basis for recruitment the group’s purported integration into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), claiming the CPLA would be the regional security force in Cordillera once Federalism takes effect.

“That is deception,” Ngao-I protested in the Ilocano dialect.

He said the regional autonomy being pushed is not a deviation from the Constitutional dictates that there will only be one AFP and one PNP, and no individual security force will be established for the Cordillera alone.

Ngao-I said the CPLA group of Molina actually requested the PPOC, through Governor Jocel Baac, to rescind the resolution, but he declined.

“Hindi naman madali na ganun (It’s not that easy),” Ngao-I said.

Ngao-I is also the president of the unified Cordillera Bodong Administration-CPLA, which had renewed the peace agreement with the government through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPPAP) Secretary Jesus Dureza.

“We had a meeting in Manila OPPAP two weeks ago regarding the support of the CBA-CPLA on autonomy towards federalism,” he said.

Ngao-I said the CPLA’s Molina faction CPLA is not part of their group.

“They are not my group. Our group is the unified (one), which entered into a renewed Bodong with the government,” he said.

In a separate interview, Kalinga Provincial Police Office Director Sr. Supt. Alfredo Dangani said training that involves only marching and no use of firearms would pose no problem.

“It will be different if they will be using guns or firing them because that would mean verification of the licenses, as well as the authority to establish such an area for gun firing,” he said. PNA-northboundasia.com