TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The leadership of the unified Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) underscored the organization has undergone a massive reorganization over the past several months to cleanse its ranks from the proliferation of scalawags and criminals which have projected a bad image of the group in the eyes of the general public amidst the noble purpose of the CPLA.
Abra vice governor and unified CPLA chairman Ronald Balao-as said he made it a policy to strongly denounce and put an end to the use of the CPLA in criminal, illegal and unscrupulous activities by members themselves or by individuals with enterprising activities that resulted to the total overhaul of the CPLA ranks through reorganization and removal of members who have trained the organization with a bad image.
Further, the CPLA is currently embarking on the re-orientation of the different provincial commands to refocus their efforts towards the group’s primary objective as laid down in the 26-point demand presented by the late Fr. Conrado Balweg during the historic Mount Data sipat agreement as embodied in the ‘pagta’ of the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA) otherwise known as the Manabo ‘pagta.’
“We know for a fact that in the Cordillera, each and every man or woman, when their land or domain, their village or ili, or way of life is threatened by anyone, tumakder da ken lumaban da,” Balao-as stressed.
He clarified that there is no recruitment or membership campaign being done by the CPLA but what is being currently done by the different provincial commands is purely documentation of the members for the preparation of a unified roster of troops and determination of personnel, strength and firepower.
According to him, knowing the CPLA’s strength and firepower is tactically important and as part of improving the organization’s tactical preparedness and strengthening its organizational mechanisms, there is a need to conduct periodic command conferences and tactical meetings to provide a venue for both members and officers to discuss matters, issues and strategies.
Balao-as is also pushing for the institutionalization of the bodong system of governance in the Cordillera, thus, the need for the people to be proud of something, it is the bodong or pechen considering that it only proves that indigenous peoples have an age-old and proven system of governance long before the democratic form of government was introduced to the IPs and that the bodong itself is democracy at its best.
The Abra vice governor claimed the region’s quest for regional autonomy is considered an uphill battle and cognizant of the same, |Cordillera leaders engaged with their counterparts from Mindanao in a knowledge-sharing activity conducted in Makati City last June for both camps to learn from their respective best practices.
More importantly, Balao-as expressed his gratitude to the different commands for uniting together in recognizing him as the new unified CPLA chairman and vowed that the present leadership will be consistent with its commitment to change the image of the organization and taint the image that it is supposed to deserve and gain the respect of the people on its programs and projects. By HENT