December 1, 2023

Due to its historical significance in the effort of lasting peace in the country, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru) is pushing for the establishment of a peace museum at Mt. Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. during the 37th commemoration of the Mt. Data Sipat (peace accord) on Sept. 13, said the establishment is one of the areas considered for the peace museums to be put up in different parts of the country. 

“Mt. Data Hotel is one of the prominent grounds in terms of the peace process, at isa nga ito sa tatlo na nilagyan natin ng memorabilia at pinatayuan ng peace statue,” Galvez said.

Last year, the monument,which depicted the 1986 Mt. Data Peace Accord between the national government with then President Corazon Aquino and Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) led by Father Conrado Balweg, was built within the hotel grounds.

The statue was made out of old parts of rifles and guns surrendered to the government by then rebels, which serves as a reminder of the aspiration of the Cordillera for lasting peace and progress and for self-determination.

Galvez said the project will be in line with the Opapru’s program to establish a national peace institute, which includes the national peace exhibition and museum.

Prior to attending the peace accord commemoration, Galvez attended the launching of the peace marker at the Philippine Military Academy, which also honors the sipat accord.

The marker was framed by gun parts broken off from 339 weapons surrendered by a decommissioned militia, and stands as a reminder of the military’s role in establishing peace in the region.

Galvez said while the call for autonomy of the region is still in the works, he said the Opapru is unwavering in its support to supporting the peace process in the Cordillera in partnership with various local government units and the former Cordillera Bodong Association-CPLA members.

He said the region should continue to have consensus-building and information dissemination on autonomy down to the grassroots level of the community.

“In case magkaroon ng another bill at maging successful ang implementation ng autonomous region ng Cordillera, madali lang itong maratify as we have done sa Bangsamoro,” he said.   

Close to 500 individuals attended the 37th commemoration of the historic event set at Mt. Data Hotel, attended by Galvez, local officials led by Govs. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. of Mountain Province and James Eduba of Kalinga, agency heads, among others. – Ofelia C. Empian