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Celebrating Sipat Peace Accord in the Cordillera

Photo Courtesy: Art TIbaldo/Cordillera News Agency

The Cordillerans commemorate the 36th anniversary of the “Sipat” that marked the signing of peace agreement between the government and the Cordillera People’s Liberation (CPLA) at Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province on September 13, 1986.  The Sipat paved the way for the signing of Executive Order No. 220 on July 15, 1987 by former President Corazon Aquino which marks the genuine Cordillera Day.

The late Mayor Gabino Ganggangan of Sadanga, Mountain Province and former CPLA leader has provided us with a reliable narrative on what transpired during the “Sipat” where he disclosed that this came after Fr Conrado Balweg formed the Cordillera Bodong Administration (CBA)-CPLA after defecting from the New People’s Army (NPA) in 1984 because the latter’s agenda was not consistent with the CPLA’s objective to promote unity and regional autonomy. These objectives should therefore be the highlight of annual commemoration of the “Sipat”. Let it not be tainted again by groups riding on the legitimate struggles of Cordillera leaders to promote peace in the Region when in fact, they are supporting those the CPLA despised for insisting on pursuing a violent revolution.

The commemoration of the “Sipat” is a reminder for the Cordillerans to preserve the peace brought by the historic event at Mount Data in 1986 that ended hostilities between the government troops and armed group. This year’s celebration should therefore be a venue for the Cordillerans to renew their commitment in taking active part in maintaining peace and sustaining the momentum towards realizing genuine regional autonomy.

Cristina Catbagan

Chair, Nagkakaisang Samahan Para Sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran

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