BAGUIO CITY: Malacañang recently declared Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, as a special non-working holiday in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in celebration of the 36th anniversary of the historic Mount Data "sipat" or exchange of peace tokens between the Philippine government and the Cordillera Bodong Administration-Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CBA-CPLA). Under Proclamation 49, series of 2022, signed by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez by authority of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Palace pointed out that it is fitting that the people of the CAR be given full opportunity to celebrate and actively participate in marking one of the important historic events that had transpired in the region. On Sept. 13, 1986, former president Corazon Aquino and high-ranking leaders of the national government met with representatives of the CBA-CPLA headed by the rebel priest Conrado Balweg for the sipat, which resulted in the cessation of armed hostilities between government forces and the armed group and acknowledgement the group's aspiration for autonomy. During the exchange, the CBA-CPLA turned over to Aquino a spear and a shield while the former gave to the Malacanang group a Bible, a rosary and an ArmaLite rifle to signal the formal secession of hostilities. Andres Ngao-I, now an engineer, a surviving witnesses to the historic event and at present a peace consultant to the Tabuk City government, said the sipat will be reenacted by the Office of the Presidential Assistance for Peace, Reconciliation and Unification at Mount Data Hotel in Bauko, Mountain Province on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. Palace Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr. will be the guest of honor and speaker during the celebration.
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