BAGUIO CITY – Malacañang Palace has declared Sept. 13 a special non-working holiday in the Cordillera region to commemorate the 1986 peace talks between the national government and the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA).
Proclamation 1212, issued on Sept. 10 by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, is in commemoration of the 1986 “Sipat”, an indigenous ritual that is preliminary to the forging of a peace pact among Cordillera tribes.
“It is fitting and proper that the people of Cordillera be given the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with proper ceremonies subject to observance of the health and safety protocols,” the proclamation read.
The 1986 Mount Data Sipat Agreement is the first peace pact successfully entered into by the national government during the administration of former President Corazon Aquino.
On Sept. 13, 1986, the CPLA, led by Fr. Conrado Balweg, heeded Aquino’s call through the forging of a Sipat or the peace agreement at the Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province.
The agreement allowed both sides to begin negotiating peace, leading to the issuance of Executive Order No. 220 on July 15, 1987, which created the Cordillera Administrative Region. (PNA)