85. and isolation from the mainstream of Philippine society.

86. For the people of the Cordillera, this phenomenon is another overriding agenda from which autonomy should be worked out.

87. When President Corazon C. Aquino assumed power in 1986, the government launched a series of initiatives that somehow address the historical problem of the Cordillera people.

88. These Initiatives are the cancellation of the Chico River Dam Project;

89. revocation of the license of the Cellophil Resource Corporation to operate;

90. the creation of a Cordillera Administrative Region making the five Cordillera provinces as a separate region;

91 the granting of Regional Autonomy for the Cordillera as provided by the 1987 Constitution;

92. and the signing by President Aquino of the Organic Act providing the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

93. When the Organic Act was subjected for approval In a referendum, the Cordillera people overwhelming

rejected it. Certainly, the people rejected it not because it is a bad law.

94. So far, It is the best document to start on towards a genuine Cordillera autonomy.

95. Certainly, the negative result of the plebiscite does not mean that the struggle for Cordillera Autonomy must end there.

96. At most, the Aquino Administration’s project on Cordillera autonomy demonstrated clear lessons that will establish a rational base for the continuing pursuit of genuine autonomy or self-determination.

97. One can get the lesson that the governments initiative to grant autonomy for the Cordillera was a political exercise which was bound to fail In the context of the present Philippine state system.

98. The controversial plebiscite for Cordillera autonomy officially saw only one province in the whole region opting for it.

99. Cong. William Claver has this observation: The plebiscite itself turned-out to be no better than a traditional Philippine election with charges of irregularities being perpetuated,

100. eloquent proof of which is in my very own home-province of Kalinga-Apayao where there was ballot snatching, there was terrorism, there was probe.