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Ronald Cosalan eyes autonomous region provision in draft federalism charter

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Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan wants to retain a provision in the 1987 Constitution providing for autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera.

The Benguet politiko said he filed the proposed amendment to ensure that there will be a provision for autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera in the proposed federal charter.

“We must ensure that this provision be retained,” Cosalan said.

He explained that “the provision recognizes the shared common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic, social structures and other relevant characteristics within the framework of the Constitution,” he added.

Cosalan explained that in his proposed amendment, the President shall exercise general supervision over the autonomous regions.

He also said that the national government shall wield all powers and functions not granted by the draft federal charter to the autonomous regions.

Cosalan added that Cordillera politikos agree that they will block proposals to distribute the six provinces of the region to Region 1 and 2 if federalism pushes through.

He added that all powers, functions and responsibilities not granted by the draft federal charter or by law to the autonomous regions shall be vested in the national government.

“We wanted an autonomous Cordillera region. It does not matter if we achieve it 10, 20 or even 50 years from now,” he said.

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