BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan commended the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and the Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) for publishing a monograph containing the stories of persons who closely worked with the late Fr. Conrado Balweg and who have direct knowledge of the armed struggle that resulted in the recognition of the clamor of the indigenous peoples of the region for the grant of autonomy.
Domogan, who also chairs the RDC-CAR, said the various tribes in the region have numerous rich time-honored practices that must be documented before they get lost with 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 the struggle should be sustained.
However, he advised the RDC-CAR and NEDA-CAR to make sure that all those involved early in the armed struggle must be included in the documentation process to avoid envy and jealousy that might crop up at this time when the region is on the right track in its clamor for the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera.
“We are happy to note that there will be succeeding chapters of the book that is why we appeal to those who have knowledge of 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.
He said that while the publication of the book is somewhat late, there is a need for the RDC-CAR and the NEDA-CAR to pursue the publication of succeeding chapters of the book that 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 September 13, 1986 between Fr. Balweg and former President Corazon C. Aquino and the subsequent issuance of Executive Order (EO) no. 220 that created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) 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.
According to him, 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 and in the end, they will learn to understand why Cordillerans are clamouring for autonomy from the national government.
The publication of the Cordillera monograph was the initiative of the RDC-CAR in partnership with the NEDA-CAR to document the untold stories of living personalities who closely worked with Fr. ConradoBalweg or those who actively participated in the formulation of the Mount Data peace agreement and the creation of the CAR up to the crafting of the first and second autonomy laws. /By Dexter A. See