Simon "Ka Filiw" Naogsan
Cordillera People's Democratic Front (CPDF)
18 July 2011
Unlike Lazarus, the CPLA gets to be resuscitated from its comatose existence not once but several times. For the nth time, the bankrupt surrender and collaborationist line of the CPLA has been exposed with the latest Memorandum of Agreement between Malacanang and remnants of the moribund renegade group.
To recall, the Arroyo regime signed an Executive Order integrating the total remaining membership of the CPLA then, numbering some 254 from the four rival factions, into the AFP. That number then was dubious -- aside from Conrado Balweg's and Mailed Molina's factions, Rafael Wasan's faction was never composed of CPLA members but merely bad elements, while Sawatang himself was a catechist and never an ex-NPA member. Come now Arsenio Humiding with 1,200 names to be given a P400 million livelihood fund through the auspices of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process manned by Ging Deles.
Humiding is also both a victim and a political opportunist -- his dire need for employment is being exploited for sinister purposes by the US-Aquino regime and it's Oplan Bayanihan counterinsurgency scheme. But the GPH of Noynoy Aquino is only talking to itself when it shakes hands with the CPLA, as the resurrected renegade group had already dissolved into the AFP, criminal syndicates and various private armies. Peace talks are held between adversaries, and the CPLA has never been a foe of the government. What is laughable and silly is their empty threat of "going back to the hills" whenever they beg for more financial assistance and projects from the government. Do tell us, what "hills" not currently active with the New People's Army are they talking about?
Cordillera Bodong Administration secretary-general Gabino Ganggangan time and again has declared his disaffiliation from the CPLA in order to twice campaign for the Sadanga mayoralty position he now holds. The Humiding faction's so-called Mountain Province zone commander Banat, also from Sadanga, was always doubling as a CPLA member and a CAFGU paramilitary militia.
Deles and Aquino chose to single-out the Humiding faction over the notorious Molina group that has been linked to drug dealing, illegal logging, gambling protection and other crimes, in order to distance the government from the stained reputation of the other CPLA blocs. Yet there has never been any sign of reform or remorse from the renegade organization that has even been declared persona non grata and banned from Baguio by its city council. In truth, all factions from the start are elbowing each other in order to present itself as the real CPLA representative that will get the lucrative proverbial pie from the government.
Far from being a rebel group--and traitors at that--the CPLA serves as psywar agents to misrepresent the Cordillera peoples struggle and as a special paramilitary force for AFP counterinsurgency operations in the region. Its members were involved in horrible human rights violations such as the abduction, torture, and murder of Cordillera Bodong Association chairman and Cordillera People's Alliance vice-chairman Ama Daniel Ngayaan and the harassments and killings of scores of Cordillera activists and civilians. Various factions of the CPLA serve in the private armies of warlord-politicians in Abra and other Cordillera provinces. In Isabela, CPLA members serve in the private army used by the warlord Dy clan in land-grabbing activities. They figured in the recent past in a misencounter with their rival illegal loggers, a unit of the AFP in the province of Apayao.
As to the claim that the Humiding faction is active in 53 villages, we dare anyone to prove that they have control let alone influence in any ili, dap-ay or ato. Banat himself cannot assert authority in his hometown and supposed base in Betwagan, Sadanga; nor can Humiding state any clout in his bailiwick in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao.
Never really a "liberation army", the CPLA is a criminal armed group used by the military in counter-insurgency operations against the NPA, the rest of the revolutionary movement, and the people. The special economic and disarmament program approve by Aquino last July 4 will never lead to a "cessation of hostilities" or demobilization because in time, the AFP can easily rearm this Humiding 'merger' group as an augmentation force and an adjunct armed force much like the CAFGU and an Ampatuan-like gargantuan private army.
Time and again, the CPLA will never give up its insistence of being the so-called regional security force as stated in the Mt. Data Accord with Noynoy Aquino's mother. Whenever the need warrants, whenever psy-war experts deem them necessary as agents for Oplan Bayanihan, the AFP and Malacanang will revive the spectre of an indigenous hired gun in the future, not unlike zombies rising from the dead.
The Cordillera People's Democratic Front seeks no less than the disintegration, disarming , and punishment of the CPLA for the various abuses and human rights violations it inflicted on the Cordillera people.