Jane Cadalig
SunStar Baguio, Friday, December 26, 2008

WHILE the quest for the region’s self-governance is being revived, a Baguio-based lawyer said this mandate has long expired when the previous organic acts that sought to create an autonomous region failed.

Pablito Sanidad said the constitutional mandate for the creation of a Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) has been lost, citing provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The 1987 Constitution, he said, provided that the first congress after its passage shall enact a law creating the autonomous region within 18 months.

Two plebiscites – one in 1990 and another in 1998 – were held in pursuit for autonomy but both failed.

Juan Ngalob, officer-in-charge of the Regional Development Council (RDC), however cited a provision in the Supreme Court, which desired for Congress to finally pass another organic act that would be acceptable for all the Cordillerans.

The RDC, which is spearheading the information campaign on autonomy, agreed to a strategy that would present the negative and positive side of autonomy.

Sanidad said the people should be informed on the pros and cons of autonomy first and let them be the ones to decide.