During its regular meeting last week, the PPOC unanimously approved a resolution opposing the recruitment in the province by a group claiming to be CPLA-CBA members and officials.
This was made following reports of barangay officials and other community leaders that an alleged group claiming to be members of the CPLA and CBA have been engaging and recruiting people in their communities to become members and eventually be integrated in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Governor Crescensio Pacalso said there are even reports that aside from recruiting, other alleged members of the CPLA-CBA are using the campaign on federalism as part of the engagement to advance their own personal interest.
The PPOC is calling for vigilance among the people of Benguet not to be persuaded and be recruited by the deceitful individuals and groups .They are also called on to report such activities being conducted in their localities to the PPOC or to the law enforcement agencies.
The governor said that the same resolution was also passed earlier this year by the Kalinga PPOC led by Gov. Jocel Baac after it was reported that there were individuals and groups claiming to be CPLA officers and members who have been going to the different municipalities of Kalinga. They were also reported to be convincing people to join their force, promising that they will be enlisted in the Army or become members of a regional security force once the Cordillera becomes a federal state.
In March this year, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza had refuted claims of recruitment to the AFP by alleged individuals and groups or factions of the CPLA. He also denied having authorized any individual or group in the Cordillera region to conduct recruitment activities and promising to their recruits financial assistance, employment and integration with law enforcement agencies as well as being part of a regional security force.
The Benguet PPOC is keen on inviting OPAPP representatives in their next meetings to discuss the issues of the CPLA-CBA in the province. Redjie Melvic Cawis (JDP/RMC -PIA CAR)