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Peace process office denies soliciting funds in Cordillera

BAGUIO CITY—The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process belied that it had authorized individuals to solicit from concerned government agencies and local officials so-called mobilization funds.

These funds were claimed to be for the speedy release of the programmed budget for the implementation of various ‘Payapang Pamayanan’ projects approved for conflict-affected areas in the Cordillera.

In a letter to the different local chief executives in the region, Marilou Ibañez, OPAPP director IV and Closure Agreement Secretariat, said that the solicitation activities are not authorized, endorsed, approved, allowed or supported by their office.

She added that steps are now being taken to arrest the unscrupulous individuals using the name of the OPAPP for their extortion activities.

“The process for endorsements, approval and implementation of projects are guided by joint guidelines and agreements among line and regional agencies and local government units in close coordination with the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council through the Department of the Interior and Local Government–Cordillera Administrative Region as RPOC Secretariat,” Ibañez stressed.

She added: “As you are further aware, the generation and approval of proposals for Pamana follow a process of deliberations by LGUs with their constituents and legislative councils at the municipal and provincial levels, and eventually, with the CRPOC.”

Ownership, validation and monitoring of Pamana projects and the responsibility to sustain them rest on  communities, not individuals, through their respective local government units with the technical support of the regional line agencies.

In July 2011, the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army and the Philippine government signed an agreement for the closure of the armed component of the Mount Data peace agreement and the subsequent conversion of the CPLA into a socio-economic force that would contribute in spurring economic growth in the conflict-stricken communities regionwide.

It was learned that part of the national government’s commitment under the closure agreement was to provide adequate fund support to the implementation of major infrastructure and socio-economic development projects in identified conflict-stricken areas to allow the increase of economic activities that will be instrumental in uplifting the living condition of people who were affected by the decades of armed conflict in the countryside.

The official added that the only authorized OPAPP personnel to deal with regional line agencies and  local officials in relation to the completed and ongoing projects in their respective places are Nenita Quilenderino-project management office manager; Fr. Adonis Bringas-project development officer  IV of the PMO-CAR; Jessica Banganan-PDO III of the PMO-CAR; Sheryl Datinguinoo-PDO V of the Closure Agreement Secretariat; Christina Umali-PPO III of the Closure Agreement Secretariat; Zandra Garcia-PDO IV of the Closure Agreement Secretariat and Den Mark Hernandez-PDO III of the Closure Agreement Secretariat.

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