Final push for Cordillera regional autonomy urged

>> Thursday, March 16, 2017

By Peter A. Balocnit

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga -- Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza urged Cordillerans to push for autonomy ahead of federalism saying creation of an Autonomous Region of the Cordillera would be a test for a federal state.  
               While Congress is working for constitutional amendments, Dureza said the region should go for autonomy. “The aim here is to lobby for the enactment of an organic act for ARC simultaneously with that of the Bangsamoro new law.”
“There is better chance for Cordillera autonomy today,” Dureza of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process told Cordillera leaders during Regional Development Council meeting here recently.
Dureza volunteered to champion the cause for autonomy in the Cordillera. “But you must unite as one, come together as one in order to have a stronger force,” he said. “The bottom line is to clear all obstacles along the way in order to have a compliant organic act with the Constitution.”
What is important is to have an inclusive stand speaking with one voice, he said as he urged all groups to convene and come up with collective decision and convince Congress to pass an organic law.
The RDC will come out with the final draft of the Cordillera organic act for submission to Congress and asked CAR representatives to file the bill in Congress.
Kalinga Congressmen Sonny Mangaoang and Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao who were present during the RDC meeting accepted to file the bill early next month for its immediate hearing in the committee level.

They said they will try to convince President Duterte to mention autonomy and certify it as priority bill during his state of the nation address in July. 


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