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Random Thoughts | PDP-Laban and Federalism

“It will be a crying shame if the speakership does not got to a PDP-Laban member, Pimentel said in a statement.” (Marlon Ramos, Ruling Party, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 20, 2019).

-oOo-

PER news item, “80 of its members snared congressional seats in the May 13 midterm elections, making it the most dominant political party in the lower chamber.” PDP-Laban will be fielding former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Re. Marlin Romualdez, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and Rep.

Lord Allan Velasco to succeed outgoing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Rep. Allan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Loren Legarda, per info, are also interested to be the Speaker of the House. My humble opinion is that whoever President Digong, being the Chairman of the PDP-Laban, wants to be the next Speaker, will be the next House Speaker. However, if President Digong does not “dip his finger” into this fight, I think Alvarez will again be the House Speaker. Why? Secret: My favorite is Velasco.

Federalism has long been the major Platform of PDP-Laban. When this Party was first in power and had the golden opportunity to adopt a Federal system in our 1987 Constitution, PDP-Laban, miserably failed to do so. That’s why I told then my friend Rey Magno Teves (bless his soul) and his PDP-Laban Davao group: “Magaling lang ang PDP-Laban sa istorya ng Federal System, pero pag nasa pwesto na ito, palpak naman!”

Again PDP-Laban is now in power when Mayor Digong was elected President. After three years in power, “Magulo pa rin ang pagsulong ng PDP-Laban sa Sistemang Pederal!” Read what David Timberman wrote in his recent “Philippine Politics under the Duterte: A Midterm Assessment”: “The fading prospects for Constitutional change. He (Pres. Duterte) appointed a 22-member Consultative Committee, and received its proposed draft constitution in early July 2018. The committee suggested eighteen federated regions and kept the directly elected president. Cha-Cha is now in the hands of the Congress. If both houses agree (which this writer doubts very much) to change the constitution, the revised charter will be subjected to a National Plebiscite.

“Over the past year, opposition to both the substance and the process of Cha-Cha has grown. Senators are elected in a nationwide constituency, so many of them see federalism as a threat to their political influence and ambitions. Others (including this writer) criticized the process for being tightly controlled and non-participatory. Several of Duterte’s own economic managers have raised concerns about the economic costs and uncertainties that would accompany such a fundamental change. A recent Pulse Asia survey indicated that most Filipinos have little knowledge of the 1987 constitutional and 66 percent are against changing it. The same survey also found that 69 percent have little or no knowledge of federalism and only 28 percent favored changing to a federal system.” (Paging DILG et al).

O ano ang say ng mga PDP-Laban dito? Is history repeating itself “na magaling lang ang PDP-Laban sa istorya ng Federal System, pero pag nasa pwesto na ito, palpak naman? Is PDP-Laban going to fail in its SECOND golden opportunity to establish a Federal System in our country?

PDP-Laban should remember that a Federal System is the only antidote to Mindanao secession. That’s why a NO FEDERAL SYSTEM SCENARIO during the term of President Digong will surely lead to the revival of the Mindanao Indpendence Movement (MIM) or One People Mindanao Movement (OPMM). PDP-Laban should take full responsibility to this terrible consequence or One People Mindanao Movement (OPMM). The way things are going “mukhang magaling lang ang PDP-Laban Congress sa INSERTIONS!” is this the legacy PDP-Laban Congress wants to leave to our suffering people? More sufferings? “Aba makonsensya naman, sana kayo.”

As things go, Only President Duterte, with his political will, tapang at malasakit spirit can save Federalism and liberate our people from the clutches of Filipino Imperialists. Let’s wait and see what he will say or not say on Federalism in his coming July SONA.

What Federalism model should President Digong propose for our country? It should be a compromise Con-Com (Consultative Committee) – unique KPP (Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago) Federal-Presidential model. It will be a “COOP-ETITIVE” hybrid type of Federalism INITIAL with five big and rich Federated Regions namely:

1. North Luzon; 2. National Capital; 3. South Luzon; 4. Visayas; 5.MINSUPALA (Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan)

Using the incremental strategy, Congress will be authorized by the new Charter to create in the future additional Federated Regions based on certain appropriate criteria foremost of which is Economic Vialibity.

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