By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis, PIA-CAR
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army(CBA-CPLA) turned over firearms to the Philippine National Police- Cordillera last week as part of steps in the transformation of the CBA-CPLA from an armed group to a socio-economic group in the region.
More than 30 hand guns and rifles were turned over by members of the CBA-CPLA in Benguet to the Police Regional Office last Friday morning.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process – Peace Accord Monitoring Secretariat Director Alexander Umpar said the event is the first step of initial firearms inventory and valuation being conducted in the region. The firearms and the CBA-CPLA members will also be undergoing profiling to know who have firearms and what kind they have.
PRO-Cor Regional Director Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong said they have set the standards in the valuation policy which is being targeted to be done in April of 2013. He committed to fast track the valuation process as he urged the CBA-CPLA members to turn-over their firearms before the targeted date.
CPLA Chairman Arsenio said that the turn-over and inventory is in fulfillment of the Closure Agreement signed between the government of the Philippines and the CBA-CPLA.
The CPLA and the government of the Philippines entered in an agreement last year for the transformation of the armed group into a social economic group.
The turnover of firearms is seen as an indication the CPLA is transforming and integrating themselves as a people’s organization and leaving their old rebel days.
CPLA members in the other provinces of the Cordillera are expected to turnover their firearms to the PNP in the next months.#