THERE are strong indications that the Duterte administration is not just sympathetic but positively supportive to the long clamor of the Cordillera Administrative Region governing bodies, Cordillera Regional Assembly (CRA) and CEB to be reactivated.
To refresh memory, these two Cordillera Bodies were forced into inactivity by the absence of financial support when the honorable Congress of the Philippines allotted a powerful one-peso-a-year (P1/year) budget for them.
So powerful was the punch that they found themselves momentarily flattened helpless to continue working but happily the CRA, the policy making body of the two Bodies, really sustained a knockdown but refused to be knocked out.
Sworn members of the CRA and some CEB, together with the core of the CBA-CPLA and the upcoming CRSF continued to work on volunteer basis. They kept the embers of autonomy simmering, especially that the Philippine Supreme Court ruled with finality that the Cordillera Bodies were just deactivated but not abolished.
Undaunted and unafraid, the CRA and some CEBs kept on encouraging one another that Fr. Balweg’s dream of Cordillera autonomy founded on the vibrant political ìbinodnganî areas of the CAR, as recognized in the 1987 Philippine Constitution would sooner or later finally triumph.
“To believe is to see” they seemed to have prophetically preceded the words of Bienvenido Chy of PRA (Philippine Retirees Association). This belief caught flame in the mind of a Cordilleran, Rene Asuncion, when he happened to glance at the provisions of EO220 flashed by Internet.
He was particularly impressed by the provisions that assured a comprehensive representation of all recognized sectors of the Cordilleran population in the policy-making body that is the CRA where honed Cordillera minds can ably blend the new and old in life’s sustenance and governance unspoiled by colonialism as well as new-colonialism.
On April 24, 2018 then, we hope President Duterte’s blessing will be upon the CRA to once again buckle down to work by holding a five-day regular session this April 2018 starting on the twenty-fifth (25th) day.
As the CAR is directly under the Office of the President, he is thirstily expected to be heard for his message and official instructions. The headship of the CAR, particularly the CRA, is his alter-ego in the Region.
Thus, the CAR regional government is naturally bound to do whatever it can to help in the success of the National Administration to uplift the life of the whole Filipino nation.
An ambitious design indeed to bring the Philippines as a respectable partner inter pares among the family of world nations so that it better be called Maharlika in lieu of the present stigmañladen name that Lapu-lapu wanted to prevent.
Matagu-tago takol losan, Mabuhay tayong lahat, Long live we all!
God be thanked and praised!