TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Acting Gov. James Edubba underscored for the past three decades Cordillerans have been sufficiently informed of the region’s renewed quest for autonomy and its impact on the overall development of the region, thus, the need to achieve autonomy first before the planned shift to federal form of government by the present administration.
In receiving the coveted Unity Gong from Abra Vice-Governor Ronald Balao-as Tuesday, Edubba pointed out the members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera and the different regional leaders have thought of the Gong Relay as a means to rally the people around the symbolism that the gong means to the Cordillerans.
“We know that the sound of the gong when it is played is a call to all people in the community to come and unite for celebration of life. We are doing this not simply to commemorate Cordillera Day but to make known our full support to House Bill 5343 entitled An Act Establishing the Autonomous Region for the Cordillera,” Edubba stressed.
He underscored the proposed autonomy bill consolidated all the suggestions from broad sectoral consultations, wide information and education campaigns and proactive participation of the people from all walks of life.
According to him, there is no reason why an upcoming Organic Act will not be approved by the people on a third plebiscite to ratify it once the law is enacted in Congress.
Edubba claimed the act of bringing the Unity Gong from one province to another is a clear manifestation of the unified move of the Cordillerans to really work together for the immediate passage of the Organic Act not for the current batch of leaders but for the good of the upcoming generations.
He asserted the present batch of leaders have to put in place the structures of Cordillera society for its development lest they will be accused of not having done their part in achieving the autonomy for the benefit of the present and future generations.
Edubba urged the participation of every Cordilleran in the important endeavour of working for the passage of the Organic Act and convince people to ratify the same and its eventual implementation.
The acting governor emphasized Cordillerans should bear in mind that the autonomy issue was fought with blood and tears of the forebears because of their love for the Cordillera, thus, the signing of Executive Order No. 220 on July 15, 1987 by former President Corazon C. Aquino that created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) was preceded by the ambush on June 21, 1987 of the group of the late Fr. Conrado Balweg on their way to Baay-Licuan, Abra from a conference on Cordillera autonomy by the New Peoples Army where 8 of Balweg’s allies died on the spot.
Edubba disclosed there are many others who gave their lives for the realization of the vision for autonomy in the Cordillera and it is enough that the present and future generations remember them in their thoughts and prayers thanking them for their personal sacrifices for the good of the many.
He rallied Cordillerans to do their part by advancing the renewed quest for regional autonomy with passion and commitment so that the dreams and aspirations of the people will be realized the soonest and not let the clamor for autonomy be overtaken by events. By HENT