BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) committed to helping in the national government’s cause to end violence and to the attainment of a permanent ceasefire that will put an end to hostilities between the military and the communist rebels that will translate to rural development and the eventual eradication of poverty.
In a joint statement read by RPOC-CAR and RDC-CAR chairman and Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, both councils affirmed that one of the foundations for inclusive growth and sustainable development is the attainment of just and lasting peace and this can be realized through continuing peace negotiations, sustainable socio-economic reforms and recognizing the right of the Cordillerans to self-determination through an autonomous regional government.
Further, the councils declared their commitment to support the snowballing call to end violence and to the attainment of a permanent ceasefire which is deemed instrumental in cascading development efforts to the countryside and putting an end to extreme poverty among the Filipinos.
The joint RDC-CAR and RPOC-CAR statement was signed by the members during the First Series of Regional Consultations on the Peace Talks Between the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines–New Peoples Army–National Democratic Front of the Philippines Consultative Workshop with the RDC and RPOC on the Draft Agreements on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) and on Ceasefire held in the city last week.
Domogan underscored lasting peace is a catalyst for countryside development and violence is considered a major hindrance to the realization of lasting peace, especially in the rural areas, thus, the need for concerned sectors to sustain the gains of the peace talks that could eventually lead to the signing of a permanent ceasefire that will also guarantee the end of hostilities.
He pointed out there is a need for both parties to strike a balance between the prevailing issues on both camps and the overall clamor of the people for peace and development, citing that the recognition by the national government of the region’s renewed quest for regional autonomy is a giant step towards realizing lasting peace in the region.
Autonomy advocates believe that self-governance and self-determination will help the people in most parts of the region move out from the shackles of poverty because of lesser restraint from outside forces.
Earlier, the DRC-CAR embraced the strategy of achieving autonomy towards the Duterte administration’s plan of changing the form of government from the present presidential to parliamentary that will allow federal states to be independent of the central government.
The region’s quest for regional autonomy has gained the support and attention of the Duterte administration after taking a back seat during the Aquino administration. /By Dexter A. See