Duterte renews support to Cordi autonomy

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his all-out support to the renewed quest for autonomy of the Cordillera and for the realization of the same during his term to serve as one of the legacies of his administration.

Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, chairman of the House committee on national cultural minorities and indigenous peoples, disclosed that the President reiterated his commitment to support the quest of the Cordillera for the establishment of the long overdue autonomous region during a meeting with the Chief Executive in Metro Manila Wednesday.

He narrated that at the close of their meeting, President Duterte requested him to make a personal letter using whatever available piece of paper in the venue stating his request for the issuance of the required certification as a priority legislative agenda the pending bills seeking for the establishment of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC) so that the Chief Executive will be able to be guided in his future actions on the said important matter.

Mangaoang informed that the establishment of the ARC once realized during his term will be one of the numerous legacies that he will be leaving to the Filipinos after the initial success of the government’s anti-drug and anti-corruption campaign, the remodeled Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) among others.

“We were elated over the President’s willingness to make the appropriate actions for the passage of our pending bills in both Houses seeking for the establishment of the autonomous region that is why we immediately wrote our handwritten letter right there and then. We will continue to follow-up the matter with the chief Executive so that he will be reminded of his standing commitment,” Congressman Mangaoang stressed.

The lawmaker disclosed that at the start of the meeting, he expressed the gratitude of the Cordillera people to his administration for the numerous projects, programs and projects that had been and will be implemented in the different provinces because the same made a significant impact in the overall growth and development of the Cordillera over the past 5 years.

While he was not present during the simple program for the celebration of the 34th founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which was held at the Baguio Convention Center Thursday, he stipulated that he was able to do his part to aggressively advance the region’s quest for autonomy with the Office of the President during his meeting with President Duterte.

Mangaoang disclosed that he was able to make the initial follow-up of his personal letter to the President through Senator Christopher Lawrence Go who reminded him of his commitment.

House Bills (HB) 5687 and 7778 authored by all the Cordillera congressman which seek to establish the ARC is now pending deliberations with the House committee on local government while Senate Bill (SB) No. 1232 authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri which is serving as the counterpart bill in the Senate of the aforesaid HBs is also pending with the Senate committee on local government.

Mangaoang said that the issuance of the certification by the President that the pending autonomy bills is one of the priority administration measures will help speed up the deliberations in both Houses for the same to be immediately passed for the realization of the put up of the ARC. By HENT

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