• Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

Results of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance Tenth Regional Congress

November 24, 2009

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance successfully convened its Tenth Regional Congress this month in Baguio City, since its last Congress in October 2006. The Tenth Congress achieved its objectives under the theme “Strengthen our ranks. Resolutely fight for our ancestral domain, self determination, and national democracy!.” CPA thanks sincerely all organizations and individuals that contributed to the success of our Tenth Congress, where we also marked 25 years of existence and struggle since our founding in 1984. Around 250 official delegates attended, including CPA’s chapters and member organizations from the 6 Cordillera provinces (Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Mt. Province, Kalinga and Ifugao), Baguio City and Manila; and the regional-sectoral formations of indigenous peasants, women, workers, youth and students, elders, cultural workers, overseas Filipino workers, and human rights workers.

BAYAN MUNA Rep. Teodoro Casiño delivered an inspiring keynote address, highlighting the vital role of the CPA in the Cordillera peoples’ movement, and its overall contribution to the advancement of indigenous peoples ‘ rights from local to international levels for 25 years. “CPA’s “commitment, courage and hard work serve as a shining inspiration to our comrades in other regions in the Filipino people’s struggle for social justice, genuine peace and national development,” he said.

The Congress recognized the invaluable wisdom of its elders, pioneers and founding members, including Joanna K. Cariño and Benedict Solang, Mother Petra Macliing, Fr. Eduardo Solang and founding chairperson Atty. William “Billy” Claver who managed to attend the Congress inspite of his health condition. Atty. Claver recalled the beginnings of the CPA since the 1980s and called for broader alliances with other progressive groups. One highlight of the CPA Tenth Congress is the awarding of our founding member and pioneer, Mother Petra “Tannaw” Macli-ing from Bontoc, Mt. Province. Mother Petra is an international awardee of the Women’s World Summit Foundation’s (WSSF) Laureate Prize for Rural Women for 2009 for her creativity in protecting ancestral land and indigenous culture. Mother Petra delivered a humbling, challenging and inspiring speech for the CPA membership especially the younger members, saying that the award is not hers alone, but is shared by the whole organization.

The Congress informed and united its membership on the analysis and position on developments in the Cordillera and National situations through discussions presented by our Education Commission and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) or New Patriotic Alliance, of which the CPA is the regional formation in the Cordillera. Simultaneous study sessions on Climate Change and Environment, the Global Financial Crisis and on Oplan Bantay Laya II were also given.

Resolutions urgent issues, events and organizational matters were passed, such as the Cordillera Day 2010 Decentralized Celebrations, Defense of Human Rights in the wake of Oplan Bantay Laya II, The other resolutions are on Opposing the proposed Baguio City Charter, Campaign against Large Scale and Destructive Mining, Climate Change and Impacts to Indigenous Peoples; Resolution on Food Sovereignty against Imperialism in Agriculture, Pursuing Genuine Regional Autonomy in the Cordillera, Disaster Response and Preparedness as part of the Peoples’ Movement, Campaign against Philippine Charter Change, Reactivation of the People’s Welfare Commission, among others.

The Congress formed the new Regional Council and elected the Executive Committee for the next term. and pioneers of the CPA. For the next three years (2009-2012), CPA’s Executive Committee is composed of the following: Chairperson: Mr. Windel B. Bolinget; Vice Chairperson for Internal Affairs: Mr. Xavier Akien; Vice Chairperson for External Affairs: Ms. Jill K. Cariño; Secretary General: Ms. Abigail B. Anongos; Deputy Secretary General: Mr. Santos Mero; Treasurer: Ms. Elvira L. Taguba.

A simple yet meaningful Tribute to Cordillera Martyrs was also held at the close of the Congress. Messages of solidarity from the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), BAYAN-USA, CPA Friends Abroad-USA and the Yilan County Kanke Indigenous Peoples Sustainable Development Association in Taiwan, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) and a video message BAYAN MUNA Representative Satur Ocampo were also read and shown in the Congress proper. #