December 8, 2023

Every Sept. 13, Cordillerans lead the commemoration of the sipat (cessation of hostilities), which is a peace agreement forged in 1986 at Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province between then President Corazon Aquino and Cordillera People’s Liberation Army led by Fr. Conrado Balweg.
The sipat paved the way for the government’s recognition of the aspirations for the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera.
It also resulted in the issuance of Executive Order 220 on July 15, 1987 that created the Cordillera Administrative Region composed of the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province, and Baguio City from Region 1 and the provinces of Ifugao and the then Kalinga-Apayao from Region 2 with three major functions, particularly to administer the affairs of the government in the region, to accelerate the socio-economic development of the region and to prepare the region for autonomy.
Cordillerans, including the political leaders, government and non-government organizations, and other stakeholders, continue to unite as one region in advancing the aspirations, rights, welfare, culture and the overall socio-economic development of this region and its constituents.
As we commemorate the 37th sipat anniversary, let us continue to recognize our desire of “One Cordillera”. Let us stand against terror groups and individuals who curtail and destroy our freedom and democracy as one region. Let us prevent terror groups from robbing us of our rich culture and oneness.
We, the members of the Samahan ng Mamamayang Nagkakaisa Kontra Terorismo, join all the Cordillerans in celebrating this momentous event.
May the celebrations serve as inspiration to continue our quest for regional autonomy. May our indigenous dances and playing of gongs celebrate our concerted efforts as Cordillerans in promoting our progress and developments as a region. — IMELDA BACHOLONG, Nagkakaisang Samahan Para sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran