From the Philippine Star (Jul 23): CPLA seeks review of MOA with gov't
A more thorough review is being sought by the former rebel group Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) it signed with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
The request came after 12 candidate soldiers of the Philippine Army who were sons of former CPLA members being trained for integration were rejected in the middle of the training.
The Philippine Army has reportedly denied reconsideration of its decision to drop the 12 trainees.
Arsenio Humiding, leader of the CPLA group which signed a closure agreement with OPAPP last year, is seeking a meeting with Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles to discuss the merit of the MOA.
"It seems that we are not headed to the direction which was intended,” Humiding said.
The closure agreement with the CPLA under Humiding ended the group's orientation as an armed movement.
Part of the MOA with government is the integration of 168 willing and next-of-kin CPLA members into the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The clamor for a review of the MOA is resonating within the ranks of the CPLA, Humiding said, adding, “lumalabas na may mga hinaing tayo, may mga frustrations and we are wondering if the government we are talking to is still listening to us.”
Humiding admitted there are lapses in the signed MOA but said the CPLA is not to be blamed for these, saying, “along the way may mag pagkakamali sa peace partners natin.”
Even the infrastructure components of the MOA, particularly the Pamana program needs a rethinking, Humiding said as “a policy direction is needed in the implementation of the MOA.”
The CPLA received P242 million to fund various projects all over the region as part of the Pamana program.
The CPLA broke ranks with the CPP-NPA in 1986 and has since joined government forces in fighting rebels in the Cordillera.
Through the years, the CPLA further splintered into several other factions, one of which was that of Humiding’s which inked an agreement with government while other factions wanted to remain as such.
Also present was Rahib Payapat, Technical Assistant Team Leader (TAT). Mr. Elleuterio presided the meeting and arrived at a consensus that site validations shall be undertaken. Two validation teams were constituted and composed of two groups with Team 1 assigned in the mainland Mindanao which will cover the Ranao Region, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, General Santos and Davao.
Team 1 is led by Doc Basary Latip, TF member, with him were Doc Ismael Abdullah TF member, Dr. Kikay, Mr. Elleuterio, Rahib Payapat Technical Assistant Team leader, Anthony Garcing, OPAPP Administrative Officer in the Sajahatra BM, 1 CCCH MILF, 1 CCCH GPH, Jalilah Solaiman, Education Focal Person-PMT-CMO . Also involved during the site validation were other members of the PMT-RMO, field facilitators and this writer being the Communication and Information Officer.
Team 2 was assigned in Western Mindanao such as Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga, Basilan and Zamboanga Peninsula. The team was headed by Ustadz Mahmod Ahmad, Co-Chairman MILF Task Force Sajahatra Bangsamoro and concurrently Executive Director of Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI). In his group were Engr. Racma Nur, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (PMT-CMO), Ustadz Habib Usman, Livelihood Focal Person-PMT-CMO, Amirudin Gayak, Health Focal Person-PMT-CMO, Hadzer Birowa, OPPAP Livelihood Focal Person, Maria Abba, OPPAP Health Focal Person, 1CCCH MILF, 1CCCH GPH, PTM-RMO members; the Zamboanga-based OPPAP administrative Officer for Sajahatra BM; other focal persons and field facilitators.
The site validation started June 26 and concluded on June 30, 2013.