BANGUED, Abra — Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza has refuted claims of alleged recruitment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines by a faction of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA).
Dureza stressed there is no truth to the claims of a CPLA faction or any group for that matter recruiting troops for the re-integration to the AFP in a dialogue between officials and members of the CPLA, top military and police officials and local government officials during his visit here last week.
“We never authorized individuals or groups to recruit combatants to become future members of the regional security force because it was never part of any discussion during our previous meetings. Cordilleran should be warned against the unauthorized, illegal and questionable acts of these people because recruitment for a regional security force was never part of the agenda of our previous engagements,” Dureza said.
Kalinga Vice Governor James Edduba informed that his office received reports that an alleged faction of the CPLA is conducting recruitment in the province of Kalinga to form the Cordillera Indigenous People’s Army and be enlisted in the Philippine Army as well.
The group allegedly has been going to the different municipalities of Kalinga convincing people to join their force with promise to be enlisted in the Army or to become members of the regional security force once the Cordillera will become a federal state.
There are certain requirements for everyone to follow if they want to enter the armed forces, said Dureza stressing that it is the AFP which is authorized to recruit enlisted military personnel and the Philippine National Police for the recruitment of peace officers pursuant to prescribed qualifications.
Dureza explained that in the case of the CPLA, the Duterte Administration has a plan to re-integrate the former combatants who have laid down their arms and are willing to be partners for peace and development of the government.
He bared that they are proposing the creation of the Peace and Development Forces wherein CPLA members and other combatant forces would be trained and become part of the reserve force which would serve as force multipliers of the government. He cleared that these forces would be helping the government in the peace keeping and not to become regional peace keeping force of the Cordillera once the region becomes an autonomous region or a federal state. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)