Domoguen: Denying the quest for autonomy in the Cordillera (ARC)

“WHY do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mat 7:3 NIV)

That is not only insightful. It tells us exactly what we are – experts at self-denial and the art of hypocrisy. After all, how can one miss a plank or beam in the eye unless one is intentionally refusing to acknowledge it?

I mention it because there are leaders who will seek to govern but consistently avoid the point being made on an issue or great cause unless they are the one making it to their own benefit. They misled their followers.

For instance, the autonomy cause has been discussed for quite too long now, more than 30 years, in the Cordillera’s public square but people who are simply opposed to it glibly say, it is not a priority concern. “That proposition cannot be understood.”

It is best to steer clear from the trap. It is a fruitless exercise to engage in illicit arguments with someone based on a selfish position or an attempt on his or her part to avoid or refuse to address an obvious void or blind spot in their position or arguments.

English author George Orwell once said that “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

The majority of citizens in this mountainous region in North Luzon could lose the struggle for an autonomous region in the Cordillera (ARC) if it loses a third plebiscite that is about to be mounted.

I recall how we joined Al Gore’s call for all people around the world to unite and address the effects of global warming, more particularly, climate change.

There are people who were obviously being left out from the “funding” with this movement. Soon, there was a strong opposing voice declaring global warming and climate change as a hoax.

In 2008, after record temperatures, melting glaciers, and the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 was awarded jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change," there are still several respectable global personalities who are deniers of the existence or impact of global warming.

People could go through great lengths to deny a thing exists or evade acknowledging a void exists in their proposition unless it is their deep purses that are being filled up.

Who is getting what from “The Fund” has actually been thrown both ways. Consider this argument I got from a politician in an anti-global warming website: “The global warming scare has been popularized to benefit big-government politicians, environmentalists, and researchers whose funding is contingent upon endorsing it.”

I hope we would not be too focused about personalities ruling the ARC and who will be in control of its resources and funds that make the subject too petty and stupid, no matter how intelligent the exchanges in our arguments are. Global warming exists just as the pursuit of the ARC is real and understandable – “the right to self-determination.”

For both topics, it is downright stupid dwelling too long gathering grass and considering how it will be served and who will do the job, when all that is needed to be done was to bring the horse to its food. Our kin, the Tagalogs would say “aanhin mo ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.”

The meaning of the quest for ARC is both too sublime and too down-to-earth. There is nothing wrong with that. Historical lessons and landmarks, principles, social and nation-building, money, and food are essentials that make the quest genuine.

The leftist groups oppose a government-led ARC but so far, they are active in advancing indigenous peoples right to self-determination. That is fine with me.

We can be cheerleaders for the Christian Faith, for the Islamist, for Vladimir Lenin’s Socialist government, for Mao Tse Tung’s Communist regime, for IP rights, if not plain Regalian agents, but for once let us not deny but unite instead for our people and the Cordillera as our common home.

I am thus gladdened to see the Regional Development Council (RDC) consolidating support at the grassroots and at the highest levels of governance for the ARC. The latest news from the RDC showed a photo of our political leaders in a meeting and united towards the push and realization of regional autonomy.

Let nobody stand in the way towards development and progress for our people in the Cordillera and the whole of North Luzon. In the final analysis, sustainability for this quest must not prove too self-serving. We are still part of the Republic of the Philippines. That is all too obvious.
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