BAUKO, Mountain Province – The municipal government reiterated to the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to prioritize the long overdue proposal to establish a peace museum as a component of the historic Mount Data Hotel to serve as a living memory of the historic events that transpired in the facility that led to the attainment of law and order in the Cordillera in the late 1980s.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit stated that he submitted to the OPAPP during the time of former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino a proposal to rehabilitate and upgrade the historic Mount Data Hotel that will include the put up of a peace museum to house artifacts, documents and memorabilia that could be retrieved in memory of the Mount Data peace agreement signed between the Philippine government and the Cordillera Bodong Administration–Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA) on September 13, 1986.
However, he disclosed that the OPAPP eventually referred the proposal to rehabilitate the Mount Data Hotel to the TIEZA while the proposal to include the put up of the peace museum was not considered to be part of the P36 million that was earmarked for the improvement of the Mount Data Hotel.
The local chief executive added that after the completion of the hotel’s improvement, concerned government agencies, especially those that give importance to the historical events that transpired in the country’s history, should take a second look at the left-out proposal on the put up of the desired peace museum because it will serve as a repository of the artifacts, documents and memorabilia of the 1986 Mount Data peace agreement that ended the armed struggle of the CBA-CPLA in the Cordillera.
According to him, the peace museum will serve as a living testament of the events that transpired that led to the signing of the historic peace agreement aside from serving as an added tourist attraction for tourists dropping by the Mount Data Hotel end route to their desired destinations in Mountain Province, Ifugao and Kalinga.
He pointed out that while there are still surviving personalities who were instrumental in the signing of the historic Mount Data peace agreement, it is important for concerned government agencies to put premium on how to preserve whatever available memorabilia and other pertinent documents and artifacts that could be displayed for the appreciation of the present and future generations on the rich culture and history of the Cordillera.
The mayor claimed that appropriate representations had been made with concerned government agencies to consider providing the needed funds to establish the proposed peace museum but it seems the said proposition is not one of their priorities when in fact the historic signing of the peace agreement ended the hostilities between government forces and the CPLA.
The sealed peace agreement resulted to the issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 220 on July 15, 1987 that created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that brought together the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio City from the Ilocos Region and the provinces of Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao from the Cagayan Valley Region. By HENT