Gov. Denis Habawel Message Completion Ceremony of the Army Integration Component under EO 49

Gov. Denis Habawel Message Completion Ceremony of the Army Integration Component under EO 49 November 9, 2015, Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela


This is my fourth time to come to the camp and I have to give a talk on this matter—integration at itong Closure Agreement. Binasa ng mga naunang nagsalita, paulit-ulit po na pinaalala sa atin, nu kasano daytoy, anya ti gapo na (what this is and the reason for this) . Ada diay (There is the) peace accord ket (and) the government and the CBA and the CPLA decided on a truce to talk about peace. And the natural conclusion of that peace was supposed to be a real provisional autonomy until a time AO 220 was passed by former Pres. Cory Aquino to prepare us for the regional autonomy. And we have been preparing ourselves already for 28 years.

In the meantime, the peace had held kaya naisip na isara na natin itong yugto ng usapin. And while waiting for the real autonomy, start initiatives na inaasahan natin sana na yung regional autonomy ang gagawa ng development. That’s why we have this closure agreement with all its components—integration, community development… And now, dapat nang isarado na yan especially the integration component so that we can move on.  

Some partners have stressed a position that was mentioned by Manang Marcelina about going back to the 26 demands and delivery of each one of them before we can close this phase. But I have always had the position that the real answer to those 26 demands is a regional autonomy. Ito po na closure agreement sa aking tingin ay confidence building measure lamang po na magpapakita ng sincerity ng gobyerno na pairalin ang katahimikan at kapayapaan in the context of development. And therefore, ito pong MOA na ito, the Closure Agreement, hindi po ito yung konteksto na magbibigay lunas sa lahat ng hangarin sa Cordillera. Haan nga daytoy nga Closure Agreement iti sungbat ti amin nga tarigagay tayo ta ti usto nga sungbat na dayta ket daytoy koma, kas inbaga kun, nga ag-regional autonomy tayo tapno we will have a stable framework and structure of our own nga mangtrabaho ngarud iti solusyon dagita aspirations tayo (This Closure Agreement is not the answer to all our aspirations because the real answer as I have said is regional autonomy so that we will have a stable framework and structure of our own that can work for the solutions to our aspirations).

In Ifugao, we have seriously implemented the provisions of the closure agreements. We have seriously implemented the infrastructure components and livelihood components for which reason some delay may have happened but it was only because we wanted the peace interventions will succeed and that the beneficiaries will feel the sincerity of the government. I encourage those agitating for sitting back with government and talking to the erstwhile CPLA to please retain their position. They have agreed to disband, they have agreed to convert themselves into a potent socio-economic forum, and in fact, as mentioned by Mrs. Bahatan, have registered themselves into the Cordillera Forum for Peace and Development. Daytoy koma; adda daytan(Hopefully, this is it). While we respect the efforts of members of erstwhile CPLA to press for what they think is rightfully theirs in their organization, we must not be distracted in our direction in moving forward with the CFPD. Let the members of the erstwhile CPLA settle things among themselves but government must proceed with determination to enforce the spirit of the Closure Agreement. That’s why I’m here today to support this activity because as chairman of the RPOC and as a member of the RDC, I would like to announce that in a meeting of the majority of the governors and Sec. Deles, it was the position taken by the RDC that we will implement the provision of the Closure Agreement in regard to the erstwhile CPLA converting themselves into the Cordillera Forum for Development and that must be the framework upon which we move forward. Like I said, the real answer to all these is not to bicker with this half way step but to really, seriously work for a real Cordillera regional autonomy. Ta amin daytoy nga tarigagay (All these aspirations) that were included in the 26 demands, even if they are not pursued as demands of the erstwhile CPLA, they must be pursued for being developmental issues. If government is really serious in its development approach, none of these 26 issues must be set aside but must be taken seriously as developmental issues with or without the claim of any one group. Dayta iti position koma iti amin (Hopefully this is everybody’s position) so that we can move forward. There is no point in us back stepping, we must move forward and that’s the only direction we have to go.

Kasdiay, apo, nasa-o kon (I have said my piece). Thank you very much.