Peace adviser renews call for Cordillera autonomy bid

PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza urged Cordillerans to prioritize their bid for autonomy before the region considers becoming a state once moves for federalism pushes through.

In his visit to Bangued, Abra, Dureza lauded Cordillerans for ending hostilities through indigenous peacemaking and peace building system en route to an autonomous region.

Dureza was in Abra for the transfer of the peace agreement of then President Corazon Aquino with the CPLA-CBA to President Rodrigo Duterte through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp) to ensure that peace and development in the Cordillera will be attained.

"The government now would like to provide an enabling government to give our returning brothers a real chance to become productive and empowered through the livelihood support being provided for by government," Dureza said.

Dureza hinted the importance of peace as primary tool to reassure the positive intention of government for them to return to society.

"We have to respect first where we are different and accept that we are not the same. This is part of both party’s roadmap for peace," the Secretary stressed.

Dureza stated the unique peacemaking system the Cordillerans followed is an example for conflict resolution.

"The same indigenous peacemaking systems and processes can be applied to give a lasting solution and bring genuine peace in the Cordilleras. That is the failure of the peace initiatives applied in the Cordillera in the past where they injected a peace process totally foreign and alien to the Cordillera," Dureza said.

Dureza pointed out the failure of the last administration to gain support from Cordillerans.

"For the next peace process intended for the Cordillerans, we have to keep in mind our own peace process like the Bodong system. I hope the Humiding fiasco in the past administration will not be involved in the ongoing peace processes -- Mapa-Mindanao man or Cordillera," Dureza continued.

The cessation of hostilities through the 'Sipat' have lasted for three decades wherein the CPLA stood firm with the agreement and is now ready to sit down for the 'Pagta' or the by-laws for the peace agreement.

"It is our hope the existing peace accord in the Cordillera would serve as a template to be followed in other peace initiatives in the present and future peace and development measures of this administration," Dureza added.
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