BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan criticized the previous move of the House of Representatives in abolishing the provisions that mandate the establishment of autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao in its own version of charter change that totally deviated from the recommendation of the Constitutional Committee (ConCom) created by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the possible amendments to the 1987 Constitution in pursuit of the planned shift to federal form of government.
The local chief executive stated that Resolution of Both Houses No. 15 on the proposed charter change deleted the provisions in the 1987 Constitution that mandated the establishment of the autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao which is rather unfair and improper considering the putting in place of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao and the region’s renewed quest for autonomy.
“If our incumbent lawmakers are really all-out in supporting the Cordillera’s renewed quest for autonomy, then they should have fought it out in the House committee on constitutional amendments that the provisions mandating the establishment of the autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao should have been retained and not just allow the same to be outrightly deleted,” Domogan stressed.
One of the Cordillera congressmen who voted in favour of the alleged abolition of the provisions establishing the autonomous regions in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao was Rep. Mark Go who claimed that there are provisions that the Cordillera could avail under the House version of the charter change to be able to achieve the put up of a federal state among other available options.
Domogan argued the contents of the recommendation of the ConCom which was endo5rsed by the President to Congress is far better than the House version of the charter change because it recognized the continuous clamor of the Cordillera for autonomy by maintaining similar provisions in the 1987 Constitution aside from giving the regions a chance to become independent federal states.
According to him, Cordillerans need lawmakers who are willing to fight for the greater interest of the region, especially in the retention of the provisions that allow the region to become autonomous because autonomy is the way to go for the Cordillera considering the need for the autonomous regional government to craft policies that are applicable to the prevailing situation instead of being tied up to the national standards that re not applicable to the prevailing situation in the region.
He asserted that Cordillerans must take full advantage of the enabling environment provided by President Duterte for the region to achieve autonomy on its third attempt so that the long overdue clamor for self-governance could be achieved for the benefit of the present and future generations of Cordillerans.
Domogan underscored Cordilleans support the Duterte administration’s bid to shift to federal form of government but it is still best for the region to first embrace autonomy before moving towards federalism considering that the benefits autonomy and federalism are almost the same. By Dexter A. See