BAUKO, Mountain Province – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) will be putting up a peace and learning center within the premises of the historic Mount Data hotel as a living testament for the successful staging of the Mount Data peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Cordillera Bodong Administration–Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) over thirty six years ago.
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. stated that the OPAPRU will be closely working with the concerned stakeholders and the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) to establish the proposed peace and learning center aside from introducing other improvements that will contribute in improving the current state of the historic Mount Data Hotel.
He pointed out that the Mount Data Hotel area is conducive for learning because of its cool climate coupled with the prevailing law and order situation that will surely make the place suitable for recreational and learning activities.
Galvez stipulated that the peace and learning center will be equipped with the appropriate memorabilia and the rich history of the Cordillera and the circumstances that led to the signing of the peace agreement for the appreciation of the people.
Secretary Galvez was the guest of honor and speaker during the celebration of the 36th anniversary of the historic Mount Data ‘sipat’ or the exchange of peace tokens between former President Corazon C. Aquino and the late rebel priest Conrado Balweg which was realized on September 13, 1986 right at the conference room of the Mount Data Hotel. He also led the inauguration of the inner peace sanctum in front of the Mount Data Hotel which was made up of the various pieces from the 339 assorted arms that were turned over by the CPLA to the government last year. The said sanctum bears the large photos of former President Aquino and Fr. Balweg which are considered the prime movers of the Mount Data peace accord.
The OPAPRU official assured concerned stakeholders that the government will continue supporting the peace initiatives in the region to thwart any threat to law and order to gain headway in the progress and growth in the region.
Galvez claimed that it was his first time to visit Mount Data and he was impressed on the good weather condition, the warm welcome of the people and officialdom and the sceneries around the facility which is fit for the conduct of recreational and learning activities that will help in promoting Mountain Province as the future rest and recreation center of the north.
The 1986 Mount Data ‘sipat’ formally ended the bloody armed hostilities between the government forces and the CPLA under the leadership of Fr. Balweg that paved the way for the conduct of formal negotiations between the said groups.
The CBA-CPLA formally handed to former President Aquino a spear and a shield as its peace tokens while the late Chief Executive handed to the group a rosary, a Holy Bible and an Armalite rifle.