BAGUIO CITY (September 12, 2023)

Malacañang via Proclamation No. 324 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin has declared September 13, 2023  as a special non-working holiday in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in commemoration of 37th  Mount Data Peace agreement. The proclamation noted, “it is but fitting and proper that the people of the Cordillera region be given full opportunity participate in the occasion.”

The Mount Data Peace Agreement or “Sipat” was forged on September 13, 1986 when the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) led by former rebel priest turned government militia leader Fr. Conrado Balweg met with then President Corazon Aquino at the Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province. Earlier on,  Balweg and a few followers broke ranks with the New Peoples Army on ideological differences, and formed the CPLA, which thereafter become a government adjunct force against the communist insurgency in the region.

The 1986 Mount Data Sipat Agreement was  the first peace agreement entered into by the national government during the administration of former President Corazon Aquino. During the historic event, high ranking officials of the CPLA and the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA) turned over to the former President a spear and a shield while the latter gave to the group a bible, a rosary, and an Armalite rifle to signal the formal cessation of hostilities. This paved the way for the government to recognize and establish the Cordillera Administrative Region thru Executive Order 220 as a transition towards the Cordillera Autonomous Region as mandated under the 1987 Constitution.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) with the Regional Development Council (RDC) Cordillera and the local government units of Bauko and Mountain Province will spearhead the 37th commemoration program at the historic Mount Data Hotel.   OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez with RDC Chairman, Apayao Governor Elias Bulut Jr., and the other Cordillera leaders and officials are expected to grace the historic occasion.

Artemio A. Dumlao

Amianan Balita Ngayon