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Widow of former rebel priest Conrado Balweg dies

March 10, 2008 11:49pm
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Corazon Cortel-Balweg, widow of rebel priest Fr Conrado Balweg died, Monday afternoon of cardiac arrest at Camp Upi in Gamu, Isabela.

Corazon, 48, and her group were on their way to the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division camp to follow up and monitor livelihood programs for members of the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) when she felt heart pains before collapsing.

Mrs Balweg was the CPLA’s Chief of Staff, a position she held since the assassination of her husband in Malibcong, Abra in December 31, 1999.

Former Bucloc, Abra Mayor Mailed Molina, the incumbent CPLA chairman, confirmed the death of Mrs Balweg after receiving a call from Maj. Gen. Melchor J. Dilodilo, commander of the 5th ID in Gamu.

Col. James V. Jacob of Camp Upi placed the time of death of Mrs. Balweg at 5:30 p.m.

Mrs Balweg left five children, with the youngest still in elementary grade.

Prior to her death, Mrs Balweg and her team were monitoring livelihood projects for cooperatives of former CPLA members. She is also following up the additional integration of CPLA members to the Philippine Army.

To recall, Fr Conrado Balweg broke out of the New Peoples Army and set up the CPLA in the Eighties. He entered into a peaceful agreement with the government in September 13, 1987, which paved the way for the creation of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Fr Balweg opposed CPLA integration to the government forces. But on August 3, 2001, or two years after his death, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Administrative Order 18, which provided for the integration of 1,200 CPLA members as officers, enlisted personnel, and CAFGU Active Auxiliaries.

At least 264 officers and enlisted personnel and three companies of auxiliaries were accommodated in 2001 but the livelihood component to accommodate 408 members never materialized. - GMANews.TV
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