Baguio probes sighting of CPLA men

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Monday, February 3, 2014


MAYOR Mauricio Domogan tasked the Baguio City Police Office Monday to investigate and submit a report on the alleged presence of paramilitary troops allegedly belonging to the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) near the Binay-an Compound in Camp 7.

During Monday’s executive-legislative meeting, Councilor Leandro Yangot divulged a report his office received on the presence of armed and uniformed men at Camp 7 allegedly hired by an ancestral land claimant in the area to protect their property. The concerned resident expressed concern over the possible harassment of residents by the alleged armed group.

This according to Yangot is alarming stressing paramiltary groups, identified by informants as members of the CPLA, should have long been disarmed after their closure agreement was finalized and signed in the presence of President Benigno Aquino III July 2011.

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Yangot said the alleged armed men have been conducting sand-bagging activities and could possibly construct a temporary camp after they were hired by ancestral land claimant as guards of the property.

BCPO director Jesus Cambay Jr. said he will send a team to investigate and monitor the presence of these paramilitary groups assuring there were no incidents and presence of the CPLA in the city for a long time.

Mayor Domogan said the city government will also inform Police Regional Office-Cordillera chief Isagani Nerez and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process as they are tasked to monitor peace projects in the agreement which include the creation of poverty alleviation programs and livelihood programs and ensure the surrender of arms of former rebels and integration to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The CPLA led by its Arsenio Humiding signed the closure agreement with Aquino on July 8, 2011 and has since been called the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development, a non-government organization.

Meantime, the city mayor said another property formerly occupied by the CPLA which the city plans to demolish is the former BIBAK dormitory and surrounding structures along Harrison.

Domogan said the demolition was discussed with a faction of the CPLA, which agreed with the mayor’s order.

He tasked City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes to prepare the legal documentations as he tasked the Anti-Squatting Committee to implement the demolition order.

He said the only hindrance the city government faces on the demolition of the structures of the former BIBAK dormitory are the students using the property as their boarding house. Domogan stressed they will give these students enough time to transfer before implementing the order.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 04, 2014.

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