FIVE of the presidential candidates for the upcoming national elections have expressed support for the Cordilleran push for autonomy.
During the online forum organized by Mindanao-based Institute for Autonomy and Governance, five presidential bets’ representatives have expressed their candidates’ support for the push for Cordilleran autonomy.
They are Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, and labor leader Leody de Guzman.
A current law provides for the creation of an organic act for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Teddy Baguilat , former representative and Ifugao native representing Robredo, said that Robredo had the “political will” to create the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
“The reasons for establishing a Cordillera Administrative Region are the same with the aspirations of our Muslims brothers and sisters and Lumads in the Bangsamoro region: historical injustice, underdevelopment, and the uniqueness of the Cordillera Region,” Baguilat said.
Senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc, on behalf of candidate Domagoso, said that he supports giving more autonomy to Cordillerans.
Senator Koko Pimentel, a part of Pacquiao’s slate, said that Pacquiao and the PDP-Laban partylist as a whole support federalism and also the push for autonomy.
““There are some steps that you need to take before you reach your destination: local autonomy, autonomous regions, and federalism,” Pimentel said.
Senatorial Candidate Manny Piñol said that Lacson supports the move, citing a 2021 interview where Lacson said that the matter of autonomy must be decided by Cordillerans themselves.
De Guzman’s campaign manager affirmed that he supports the move for autonomy, citing De Guzman’s past ties to the now-defunct militant organization Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA).