BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) passed a joint resolution commending former Presidential Adviser on the Peace process Jesus G. Dureza for his notable role in the region’s clamor for autonomy.
The RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR chaired by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan stated that in recognition of Dureza’s support for regional autonomy and unwavering efforts to provide peace and development in the country, the former palace peace adviser was adopted as a son of the Cordillera on July 14, 2017 and named ‘mensapit,’ a Kankanaey term which means peacemaker or savior.
The resolution pointed out former Secretary Dureza also played a key role in bringing together pioneer autonomy advocates and stakeholders in Mount Data, Bauko, Mountain Province on April 24, 2017 that resulted to the crafting of the Mount Data declaration of support for regional autonomy which was likewise one of the historic events in the region to reckon with.
Further, the resolution noted that Dureza’s peace initiatives, among others, include the conduct of the first time Senators forum on autonomy in Manila on August 10, 2018, followed by the congressional forum on autonomy held at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City earlier in January 2018, also the ‘am-among di Cordillera’ held on September 13, 2018 where former President Fidel V. Ramos, who played a major contribution during the 1986 ‘ sipat,’ encouraged and gave support to the region’s renewed quest for autonomy.
The RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR pointed out Secretary Dureza was very instrumental in bringing the region’s enhanced autonomy advocacy before President Rodrigo R. Duterte who committed support to the region’s clamor for self-governance in a meeting in Malacañang attended by Cordillera elders and leaders on July 18, 2017, a momentous event in the region’s autonomy movement.
Earlier former Presidential Peace Adviser Dureza championed the Cordillera regional autonomy advocacy both at the national and regional levels since his assumption in office in July 2016 and for the last two years, the region was able to attain significant achievements in its autonomy advocacy which has reignited the need for unity among the Cordillerans, its leaders and officials to work harder to realize an autonomous region of the Cordillera.
Since 2006, the Cordillera people, the RDC-CAR and the RPOC-CAR continue to pursue regional autonomy as the overarching framework for regional development, a strategy that empowers its people to decide on appropriate policies, programs and projects best suited to the region.
The Cordillera region’s long-time clamor for self-determination is enshrined in the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution in recognition of its distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and physical environment.
The RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR expressed their disappointment over the untimely resignation of the former peace adviser from his post which can have serious repercussions to the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by Joseph B. Manzano