Cordillera militia faction decries ‘fake’ CPLA unification

Jul 9, 2017

BANGUED, ABRA – Former Bucloc, Abra Mayor Mailed Molina decried the unification assembly last July 1 (Saturday) in Bangued, Abra, supposedly led by Abra Vice Gov. Ronald Balao-as, as “fake”.
Molina is one of the founders of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) that splintered with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP) in 1986.
“Who is Balao-as in the CPLA?”  Molina fumed as he challenged even the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Regional Development Council to be circumspect in dealing with the different CPLA factions and fake groups misrepresenting them.
On Saturday, Vice Gov. Balao-as was sworn into as unified CPLA chairman in rites officiated supposedly by Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA) president Engr. Andres Ngao-i.
True that there were unification plans, explained Molina, who together with former SVD priest turned rebel leader Conrado Balweg, broke ties with the CPP-NPA in 1986 and forged a peace pact with then Corazon Aquino administration that since had resulted into the establishment of Executive Order 220 from where the present Cordillera Administrative Region is cued, “but different factions agreed to still finalize it.”
On April, different CPLA faction leaders, Molina said, met with the National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera and OPAPP functionaries and agreed to iron out a CPLA unification agreement.  “Leaders were assigned to make a proposal to fund the unification process,” the former mayor admitted, “so the process still has to start without agreements yet who will compose the leadership of the CPLA.”
The Regional Development Council in the Cordillera dreams of gathering the support of a unified CPLA to help forward regional autonomy in the Cordillera region.
But with what is happening, Molina said, “the dream for autonomy which we have been fighting for is being spoiled by credit grabbers and fakes.”
Molina said the government “must be circumspect in dealing with the true CPLA members and genuine factions.”
At present, there are still around 3,000 card-bearing members of the CPLA in all six provinces of the Cordillera, the militia leader claimed.  These are those who were disenfranchised with Saturday’s fake installation of the so-called unified CPLA chairman, Molina bantered.
“In deference to genuine CPLA members and genuine factions,” Molina said, “I will not recognize the bogus chairman installed last Saturday.”
Genuine CPLA members, Molina added, “must rise up against the injustice that happened in honor of the long years of sweat and blood that poured in the Cordillera that dreamt of regional autonomy.” ACE ALEGRE / ABN

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