BAUKO, Mountain Province – The Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) urged concerned government agencies to speed up the implementation of programs, projects and activities aimed at improving the lives of former combatants and the overall development of their respective communities situated in the hinterlands of the region.
CPLA chairman and Boliney Mayor Ronald Balao-as underscored it has been over 36 years that the regional government got support for its development but the benefits seem to have been elusive to the combatants, the members of their families and to the communities where they belong.
He pointed out that most of the combatants that have not yet been profiled by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unification (OPAPRU) are already too old and they need the long-overdue government support for their sustenance in exchange for their embracing peace during the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ on September 13, 1986.
The CPLA official pointed out that the organization had been complying with the conditions being imposed by the government to be able to access the support to be provided to them pursuant to the historic peace agreement but it seems the delivery of these is taking so much time that former combatants have already lost hope if they will be able to get such assistance from concerned government agencies.
Mayor Balao-as claimed that the organization is willing to comply with whatever documentary requirements required by concerned government agencies just for them to be able to access appropriate livelihood programs, projects and activities for their families and the respective communities.
Mayor Balao-as asserted that concerned agencies must get their acts together to be able to fasttrack the release of assistance from the government so that there will be no unnecessary delays that might further delay the implementation of such programmed interventions geared towards the benefit of the old combatants.
According to him, since the historic Mount Data peace agreement was sealed on September 13 1986, the old CPLA combatants had been committed in abandoning the armed struggle in lieu of the commitments from the government, particularly the establishment of the long overdue autonomous region and the grant of the appropriate support in terms of programs, projects and activities for their sustenance and development.
Balao-as, together with more than 100 former CPLA combatants from various parts of the Cordillera, attended the 36th anniversary of the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ to be appraised of the latest developments on the region’s quest for autonomy and the provision of livelihood support to the organization.
He expressed hope that concerned government agencies will rise up to the occasion and aggressively implement the programs, projects and activities that are geared towards improving the present condition of the old combatants.