January 29, 2023

Family members of the three heroes of Kalinga and elders have asked the Cordillera Peoples Alliance to disassociate from their local heroes in its political agenda and other activities.

In a resolution signed by family members of the late Kalinga heroes Macli-ing Dulag, Pedro Dungoc, and Lumbaya Gayudan and elders from the Butbut ethno-linguistic group, CPA was accused of making it appear that the local heroes were once members or were under the influence of left-leaning groups.

“It is a public knowledge that Macli-ing Dulag was just a plain prominent tribal leader who led the opposition of the dam project, and so with his companion Pedro Dungoc and Lumbaya Gayudan, who were both forced to join the local New People’s Army because of the assassination attempt by government soldiers on their lives,” the resolution reads.

Dulag, who led the fierce opposition against the proposed dam project on Chico River, was assassinated by government forces on April 24, 1980 in Butbut, Tinglayan, Kalinga.

A year after his assassination, elders and leaders from Kalinga and Bontoc, Mountain Province gathered in Bugnay to commemorate his death and sacrifice and to renew their commitment to the dam struggle. Since then, villages along the Chico River took turns in hosting the annual Macli-ing Memorial organized by the Kalinga-Bontoc Peace Pact Holders Association, which later became the Cordillera Bodong Association.

The resolution said the CBA organized the Macli-ing Memorial every April 24 from 1981 to 1984.

In 1985, the newly-organized CPA, planning to affiliate groups opposed to the construction of the dam organized under its banner, set April 24 as Cordillera Day.

When CPA took over the Cordillera Day celebration in Balbalan, Kalinga on April 24, 1985, leaders and peace pact holders including elders from Butbut did not join the succeeding Cordillera Day celebrations organized by CPA and its allied groups on the ground, saying they do not want the activity be used by the group to advance their underground movement and left-leaning agenda.

On many occasions, the CPA has denied advancing the ideology of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA.

The Butbut resolution requested the provincial government of Kalinga and other concerned town councils to issue separate resolutions or statements to urge CPA to stop from misrepresenting to the youth sector that the three local heroes were once under the influence of left-leaning groups. 

Those who signed the resolution are Martin Gayudan, Robert Macli-ing, Mannay Macli-ing-Gayudan, Gilbert Dungoc, Julie Ann Asin-Dungoc, Butbut Punong Barangay Robert Dumpao, and barangay adviser Suplay Alunday. – BMC release