By Benjie S. De Yro
LAL-LO, Cagayan- Researchers finally found a vital document which attested to the cityhood of this municipality during the Spanish regime, said board member Maria Olivia Pascual.
Pascual said the original Spanish document declared the town as a former city. It will be translated into English and will serve its link to the town’s historical claim.
Pascual said a bill which clamors for the restoration of the former Ciudad Nueva Segovia now called Lal-lo by 1st Congressional District Representative Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. will be re-filed.
Earlier, the towns of Naga (Nueva Caceres) and Vigan (Ciudad Fernandina) were elevated to cityhood status after both towns applied for their historical rights in the early 1990s. The former Nueva Caceres is now known as Naga while Ciudad Fernandina is Vigan.
It should be recalled that during the first term of Mayor Florante Pascual, he resolved that the cityhood be restored thru an earlier bill filed by Enrile.
However, even after sending a research delegation to Madrid to retrieve the historical document originally signed by King Philip, the team failed to locate it. The document is a basic requirement in the bid of this town for cityhood.
Under the local government code, municipalities who want to convert themselves into cities must satisfy requirements on population, land area and income.
For municipalities who were earlier declared as Spanish cities, only decrees which declared them as such is the basic requirement. Academics clarified that there is a big difference between restoration and conversion of cities under Philippine laws.
Under the Diocese of Nueva Segovia, Lal-lo enjoyed lavish gifts from Spain and was the capital of the entire Cagayan Valley region until its transfer to Tuguegarao City.#