TINGLAYAN, Kalinga – Gov. Jocel C. Baac urged the people of the province to be steadfast to the principles of the famous bodong in light of the renewed quest for autonomy being spearheaded by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the development of the province and the region as a whole.
Baac, whose message was read by Provincial Administrator Velentin Bangulay during the 37th commemoration of the death of cordillera heroes Macli-ing Dulag and Pedro Dungoc and the Butbut Tribe Bodong Congress held here Tuesday, cited for without the bodong forged by Fr. Conrado Balweg and former President Corazon C. Aquino at Mount Data, Bauko, Mountain Province on September 13, 1986, the peace and development for the Cordilleras that are currently being enjoyed would not have been possible, although the region has still to achieve autonomy.
“Cordillera autonomy was the dream of Apo Macli-ing Dulag and Pedro Dungoc, and this is the time I believe that this Organic Act is passed into law will be approved by our people in the region. We commend our cordillera leaders who are untiringly promoting autonomy and we should help them to campaign for the approval of the proposed Organic Act once the President signs it to a law,” Baac stressed.
He revealed that it is also his prayer that the people of Tinglayan and all the other municipalities and city in Kalinga will overwhelmingly approve the proposed Organic Act for the Cordillera when it will be presented during a plebiscite for the purpose
He challenged the people and officials of Kalinga to continue doing their share in the promotion of the development of the Cordillera because of the common culture and traditions of the various tribes amidst diversity.
The governor called on the people to preserve and protect the geographical political unity of the region that was established since 1987 after former President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 220 that created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) bringing together the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province and Baguio city from Region I and Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao from Region II.
Baac underscored that the best that will help the people preserve the established political unit is through the age-old bodong because it is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the Kalinga as a people and it has helped the Kalingas live through the centuries.
He commended the Butbut tribe for having initiated the conduct of the bodong congress that paved the way for the enhancement of the tribe’s ‘pagta’ or peace pact with other tribes in the province because there is really a need for the concerned tribes to update the conditions of their agreements to conform with the prevailing trend of the times.
As a symbol of its sincere commitment to the recognition of the heroism of Dulag and Dongoc, the provincial government will be funding the put up of their memorial busts along the national highway in Bugnay, Tinglayan.