May 18, 2024

In the dead of night, the anti-Chico dam struggle heroes’ monument in Bugnay, Tinglayan, Kalinga was removed by still unidentified hooded men.
The Cordillera Peoples Alliance said removal of the monument started on the night of Dec. 12, 2020 when residents saw four hooded men chipping away at the marble plate, which bears the dedication of the monument.
Then on the evening of Jan. 3, more hooded men removed the metal panels, which bore the faces of the local heroes.
On Jan. 4, residents took away the metal plates for safe keeping.
The residents then complained to Tinglayan Mayor Sacrament Gumilab and the Philippine National Police about the incident.
CPA Secretary General Sarah Dekdeken said based on the accounts of the residents, the alleged the hooded men belong to the police force.
“This is also an attack on the history of the people of Cordillera. It is also an attempt to distort the history of the struggle of the people,” Dekdeken said.
The monument was built in April 2017 by CPA in honor of the three elders of the Butbut ethnic group in Kalinga who fought against the project that would have submerged communities and farms during the Marcos regime.
The monument featured local heroes of the struggle led by Bugnay elders Macliing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, and Lumbaya Gayudan.
Earlier, the Upper Kalinga District Engineering Office reported the monument has encroached on the road right-of-way reason that it called for its voluntary removal, or it will be forced to implement its demolition.  
The DPWH-UKDEO’s notice came after the Kalinga PNP Advisory Council recommended the demolition of the structure for allegedly bearing anti-government inscriptions.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines earlier wrote to the Tinglayan municipal government to respect the monument stating “heroes, illustrious personages and leaders of the locality should be treated with utmost respect and reverence.”
CPA maintains its position against the removal of the monument stating it sits atop a ravine and is within ancestral domain and that it would have been opposed even before its establishment in the area.
Kalinga Provincial Police Office Director Col. Davy Limmong said the Tinglayan Municipal Police Station was tasked to investigate the allegations. – Ofelia C. Empian