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statements April 5, 2012
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CPA Participates in IGO’s 9th IIC

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) will be participating in the 9th Igorot International Consultation (IIC)  of the Igorot Global Organization (IGO), taking place from April 11-14, 2012 at  the Baguio Country Club.  Under the 9th IIC’s theme “Igorots in Partnership for Development”, the CPA will be presenting and sharing a paper entitled Perspective on Cordillera Development and Regional Autonomy: A Century of Societal Change from Subsistence to Globalization. The author, Mr. Benedict Solang of CPA’s Advisory Council, will be presenting and participating.

The full paper can be read at the CPA website and CPA’s position paper on the third attempt at regional autonomy can be downloaded in the following link:

From the CPA’s standpoint, the key principles of genuine development for indigenous peoples so that it is meaningful, should include: defense, management, and nurture of  ancestral land, resources, and environment; social justice and equity on access to land and resources , as well as any socio economic benefit; sustainable development with organic agriculture and appropriate technologies; people’s  participation to ensure ownership and accountability, as well as build self reliance; assertion of indigenous peoples rights and right to self determination; regional Autonomy initially advanced by the progressive people’s movement, is the applicable political; framework  for strategic  Cordillera development.

Thus, genuine regional autonomy is based on indigenous peoples’ rights and the right to self determination of indigenous peoples—the right to self determination is the right to decide on the social,  cultural, political and economic life. This includes genuine or people–based development on livelihood, social services and the economy. It must be understood in its full substance as the exercise of self determination . It is not just devolution or decentralization of governance powers and administration. Neither is it only about funds and projects, and it should not dismember the Cordillera as one integral region of dominantly indigenous peoples.

The third attempt to pass a law on regional autonomy at this time is again current political debate with a bill in Congress. We recall that two earlier attempts were rejected.  CPA iterates that  regional autonomy can only be genuine if it addresses indigenous peoples’ particular problem of national oppression. 

In the up and coming 28th Cordillera Day celebrations which CPA has been organizing since 1985, genuine regional autonomy shall be among the key issues to be tackled, in a weeklong celebration of indigenous peoples’ struggles and protest. The 28th Cordillera Day activities will kick off on Earth Day, April 22, up to April 29, 2012. ***



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