June 14, 2024

Only true Cordillerans can credibly fight for genuine interests

I recently saw posts on social media by some left-leaning groups inviting netizens to join the 38th Cordillera Day celebration on April 24.
How could this date be the Cordillera Day? I know for a fact that Cordillera Day is celebrated every 15th of July, the day former President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order 220 in 1987.
Then it came to mind that around this time in 2020, the late mayor Gabino Ganggangan of Sadanga, Mountain Province made exposés on the Communist Party of the Philippines-allied organization, the Cordillera People’s Alliance, that has been claiming to champion the rights of indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities (IPs/ICCs).
Ganggangan’s series of exposés accused the CPA of using IPs so they can mobilize them in pushing for the agenda of the CPP, which is to overthrow the government.
The mayor exposed the links of the CPA and how deeply-rooted it is with the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army.
The mayor condemned the CPA and the CPP for misrepresenting Cordillerans by using them to solicit assistance from donors abroad.
Infuriated, Ganggangan called out the CPA to stop monopolizing representation of Cordillerans.
Ganggangan is gone but his strong advocacy for Cordillerans to fight for their own plight should not be sidelined.
Let us not allow the CPA and its followers to insist on changing or even meddling with our history to cloak their works to support the CPP-NPA and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
While they would rather celebrate their version of Cordillera Day, may the true blooded Cordillerans rise and assert genuine representation, and take bold action to stop the cohorts of this group from further tarnishing our culture, tradition and identity.
Only true Cordillerans can credibly fight for genuine Cordilleran interests. — MA. LOUISA FOLIGAN, spokesperson, Samahan ng Mamamayang Kontra Terorismo