By ADELA DEYAEN WAYAS
Posted by Bulatlat.com
Baguio City – The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) has officially issued its stand on the drafting of 3rd Organic Act being pushed by the Regional Development Council (RDC) and supported by some government officials as another misrepresentation of the Cordillera peoples aspirations.
During the study conference of the CPA on genuine regional autonomy and self-determination, the progressive Indigenous peoples organization declined to accept the invitation of the committee charged to drafting the organic act chaired by Mayor Mauricio Domogan.
It was remembered that CPA was the first to popularize regional autonomy as an expression of the right to self-determination in the Cordillera in the 1980s. However, “different interests rode on the popularity of the campaign and sequestered it for their use”.
On the Organic Act and the enabling law that would have created the Cordillera autonomous region approved by Congress in 1987, CPA said the organic act “did not embody the substance of self-governance and indigenous peoples’ control over their resources.” Thus, the CPA called for its rejection which was supported by the people in a plebiscite held on this law.
In the study, CPA representatives have agreed that “regional autonomy” has been used by traditional politicians for their vested interests. Thus, they are firm and continue to uphold their stand that the “government’s regional autonomy” is not genuine.
CPA called the 3rd Organic Act another bogus version of autonomy especially that the same traditional politicians are involved in working the document.
CPA said that “There would be genuine regional autonomy for the Cordillera if it manifests the processes and principles for self-governance and gives full control to the people to their land and resources.”
Windel Bolinget, CPA chairperson, told this reporter earlier that CPA together with the people of Cordillera will always reject the bogus autonomy by the traditional politicians. “It will never served the interest of the people,” he iterated.
In the said study conference attended by different IP leaders and organizations in the Cordillera on October 27, they reviewed the basic problems faced by Cordillera society and reconfirmed that national oppression as a particular problem directed at indigenous peoples.
The study meeting also reviewed the alliance’s long experience in the campaign for the recognition of indigenous peoples rights and studied significant events in the Cordillera struggle for genuine regional autonomy.
Meanwhile, Domogan said during his Ugnayang Panglungsod, on October 20, that their time table to finish the working document is before the end of this year. He told the press that for them to have sufficient time to inform the public on the regional autonomy they hope that the draft of the 3rd organic act will be signed by 2011. He added that the autonomy law should be based on the five basic guidelines or principles they have set.
On the other hand, Ifugao representative Teddy Baguilat said there is a need to review the Indigenous Peoples Right Act or an act recognizing, protecting and promoting the rights of the indigenous cultural communities/indigenous people. Strengthening IPRA first and implementing it the right way could be best preparation for the region for autonomy, he said. Posted by (Bulatlat.com)