BENGUET Board Member Florencio Bentrez expressed alarm over the continued presence of disbanded para-military group Cordillera People’s Liberated Army (CPLA) in the province.
During Monday's board session, the lawmaker said the CPLA’s presence could affect the peace and order in the province.
"Why do they need to build and strengthen this armed forces in uniform? They are already disbanded, I would like to bring this matter to this body for appropriate action because it disturbs the mind of the children," said Bentrez.
CPLA is a militant organization based in the Cordillera region that was founded by Conrado Balweg in 1898. It has been long disbanded and its members have supposedly been integrated into the military.
"I am disturbed by the personality of these people in uniform visible here in Baguio and Benguet. I do not think that the people of Benguet need this group," Bentrez said during the Kalinga family day in Baguio City.
Bentrez said that although the group may not mean any harm, their presence disturbs the peace.
"Do not disturb the peaceful situation here in Benguet. The governor does not subscribe to the presence of armed men aside from the government troops," Bentrez added.
Vice-Governor Florence Tingbaoen said they will ask the Police Regional Office – Cordillera to explain the matter.
Tingbaoen said the presence of the CPLA is not a threat. However, she questioned the group’s recruitment activities.