CPLA head escapes slay try-A A +A
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA)-Kalinga ground commander Tirso Iwangga survived another slay attempt Monday night at his house in Barangay Bolinao.
Iwangga said he was resting with relatives and children inside his house around 9:15 p.m. when the gunmen came. He went outside his house and heard gunfire.
“Mabuti na lang may dala tayong armas at naka responde tayo,” Iwangga said.
The firefight prompted Iwangga’s body guards and the police in the area to respond immediately.
Neighbors said the gunmen fled onboard motorcycles after the incident.
No casualty was reported.
“Marami pa rin factions sa CPLA na hindi sumasang ayon sa amin,” Iwangga said after the attack.
Despite the peace pact signed between the group and the government, true harmony is yet to be achieved within its ranks.
Iwangga said he is aware of factions within the CPLA who want to topple Arsenio Humiding, the recognized leader of the organization.
“Alam ko na mahirap ang kalagayan ko, pero kung hindi ako maninindigan bilang commander dito sa amin sa Kalinga, eh kawawa naman kami,” Iwangga said.
The CPLA is now coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to come up with an integration program while the Philippine National Police (PNP) is crafting the issuance of an arms management program for the CPLA, a requisite before the arms turnover.
Last year, CPLA chairman Humiding signed a pact with the government to demobilize, disarm and reintegrate CPLA members into mainstream society, paving the way for the transformation of the CBA-CPLA into a socio-economic organization.
Police were able to recover empty shells outside Iwangga’s house and spotted a set of footprints leading to an escape route from the still unidentified gunmen.
Iwangga said there are no leads yet to the identity of the attackers because there is also an ongoing clan war with his family and another tribe.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 11, 2012.