BAGUIO CITY—Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan commended the Cordillera Regional Development Council and the Cordillera office of the National Economic and Development Authority for publishing a monograph with stories of persons who closely worked with the late rebel priest Fr. Conrado Balweg.
Balweg and his confidantes had direct knowledge of the armed struggle “that resulted in the recognition of the clamor of the indigenous peoples from the region for the grant of autonomy,” Domogan said.
The mayor, who also chairs the RDC-CAR, said the various tribes in the region are rich with numerous practices, which are considered to be time-honored age-old practices that must be documented before they get lost in the passage of time.
Thus, the RDC-CAR’s effort to document untold stories of the armed struggle, and those who were indirectly and directly involved in it, “should be sustained,” he added.
Domogan said the regional agencies must make sure all those involved in the armed struggle must be included in the documentation process as soon as possible “to avoid envy and jealousy” that might crop up.
That should not be the case at the time that the region “is on the right track” in its clamor for the national government to recognize that an autonomous region must be established in the Cordillera, he added.
“We are happy to note that there will be succeeding chapters of the book, that is why we appeal to those who have knowledge on the armed struggle to come out in the open and agree to the documentation of their stories, just as what the other pioneer autonomy advocates had done,” Domogan stressed.
While the publication of the book could be considered somewhat late, there is a need for the RDC and Neda-CAR to pursue publication of succeeding chapters of the book.
These would focus on the role of key people and various sectors in the armed struggle that resulted in the signing of the historic Mount Data peace agreement on Sept. 13, 1986 between Fr. Balweg and former President Corazon C. Aquino, and the subsequent issuance of Executive Order 220.
EO 220 created the Cordillera Administrative Region composed of the provinces of Abra, Benguet and Mountain Province and the City of Baguio from Region I, and the provinces of Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao from Region II.
Domogan said it is important that the book will be widely distributed to the different schools around the region ,and even outside the Cordillera, “so that today’s youth will be aware of how difficult the armed struggle was for them to value what their forefathers had been fighting for.”
In the end, the youth “will learn to understand why Cordillerans are clamoring for autonomy from the national government,” he added.
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