Efforts to sabotage quest for autonomy scored

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan expressed disappointment over the efforts by some disgruntled individuals and groups to derail the gains of the region’s renewed quest for autonomy.

The local chief executive underscored that the mixed signals on the region’s renewed quest for autonomy being spearheaded by some self-proclaimed federalism advocates from the Cordillera to the Office of the President is one of the hindrances in the efforts of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera to gain the confidence of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to issue the required certification that House Bill (HB) 5343 or the bill that seeks to establish the autonomous region in the Cordillera is an urgent administration measure.

“We hope that Malacañang officials will not treat the mixed signals being brought to their attention regarding the region’s renewed quest for autonomy as a sign of our disunity that may be used against us that will result to our failure to secure the President’s support for our final crack at autonomy,” Domogan stressed.

He explained that the problem with the self-proclaimed federalism advocates lobbying with the Office of the President for the reactivation of the disbanded Cordillera bodies is that aside from their questionable reputation, they are also discrediting the RDC-CAR’s thrust of autonomy towards federalism and this does not sound good to those who support autonomy as the best option for the region to remain united.

According to him, the RDC-CAR remains united in pushing for its approved thrust on autonomy towards federalism to spare the region from being left out in the dark once it will be mandated to join the Northern Luzon Federal State wherein it could exist as an autonomous region in a federal state or it could be treated as an independent federal state with an equalizing provision.

He pointed out that the dis-information peddled by supposed self-confessed federalism advocates who continue to abandon the constitutional mandate for the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera is unfortunate since it continues to add up to the confusion among the Cordillerans instead of clarifying the issues being raised against autonomy.

Domogan explained Cordillerans should not allow autonomy critics to ruin the gains of the region’s quest for autonomy by showing signs of disunity which could be used to thumbs down the aspirations for self-governance.

The mayor asserted he does not understand why there are still Cordillerans who refuse to internalize that autonomy will result to better chances of the region to develop at par with other regions in the country considering that the autonomous regional government will have a greater control of the region’s resources with lesser restraint from outside forces and the fact that local governments will continue to enjoy their rights and privileges that they are currently enjoying.

Further, the establishment of an autonomous region will result to the formalization of the region’s permanent regional identity that will translate to the introduction of more economic and policy reforms for the eventual progress for all and the upliftment of the living condition of the people, especially those from the remote communities who had been longing for development opportunities through years.

By Dexter A. See

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