CORDILLERA’S bid for autonomy could have been a few steps away.
But the dream of realizing the full autonomy of the region as stipulated under the 1986 Constitution was killed when not even a single Cordillera solon supported the bid of Ifugao representative Teddy Baguilat Jr., to become the House Minority Floor Leader.
The eight who supported Baguilat’s bid include Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, Capiz Rep. Emmanuel Billones, Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, Akbayan party-list Rep. Tomasito Villarin, and 1-Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta.
Baguilat lost to Quezon representative Danilo Suarez for the third most powerful man in the Lower House.
The six Cordillera solons could be thinking otherwise when they did not voted for Baguilat.
A vote for the speaker would mean the representatives would be allied with the President and would mean more projects for their constituents.
It’s hard to fathom however, that these Cordillera solons failed their own brother. A brother that could pave the way for the region’s development and the hopes of nailing the much anticipated autonomy.
Cordillera solons, in previous Congress have been refilling House Bill 5595 seeking the creation of an autonomous region in the Cordillera.
Some solons however raised their apprehension on the ongoing information - education campaign for autonomy with the need for a grassroots consultation regarding the provisions of the bill.
And with the new Congress already setting in, the bill is once again being revived in the hopes that it will be approved for the third time and will be attune to the President’s wish of a federal state.
Had the region’s solon united and helped Baguilat’s cause, the bid for autonomy could have been sailing smoothly in the halls of the Congress.
But politics killed the aspiration of a Cordillera solon. Now, these politicking can also kill our aspiration of being an autonomous region.