“President Duterte said: We have to change the Constitution, whether Federal or what not: If you want to change the Constitution, do it now while I’m still here. The amendment (or revision) was necessary to avoid an uprising by the military which was really hot on it.” (Julie M. Aurello, “Duterte ends Speakership squabble”, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 9, 2019).
Wow, Charter Change or Cha-cha as an antidote to military uprising per President Duterte. This indeed is something new and very down to earth. It seems that at last our military has realized that only an honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform can heal our sick society which is controlled by Filipino imperialists composed of oligarchs, greedy big business people, very corrupt traditional politicians, unconscionable elite and their cohorts.
Our military, being the “protector of our people,” is now fully aware that the time has come to save our people and country from unabated corrupt bureaucracy that breeds widespread dehumanizing poverty, perpetuates our longest insurgency in the whole world, rampant buying and selling of votes during elections, sustained smuggling and pushing of illegal drugs in the country that destroy many Filipino lives, continuous regulatory control of our economy, messy political party system and unresponsive 1987 Constitution to the needs of the times, among other problems besetting us.
Unfortunately, we cannot depend on Congress to undertake an honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform. Why? Due to two valid reasons namely: 1) Three-fourth votes even in the new Senate as required by our Constitution for amendment or revision of our present Charter cannot be attained; and 2) Selfish political interests prevail at the House of Representatives. Let’s not also discount the possibility of filibustering of anti-Duterte members of Congress to stop Charter Change.
Going for a Constitutional Convention or ConCon presents also enormous obstacles such as time constraints, massive vote buying and selling during the election of delegates and corruption through big money lobby for elected delegates.
Thus, the only viable option left is our Plan “B” which calls for a more radical approach to an honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform through the exercise of “Direct Democracy” by the Filipino people either via People Mandated Revolutionary Government (RevGov) or Expanded People Initiative (EPI) with President Duterte’s leadership style and political will, and full support of our military to heal our terribly sick Philippine society.
An honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform should include among other things the following: 1) Shift to a more inclusive political system known as a Federal System of government 2) Prudent liberalization of our economy while ensuring social safety nets and security through the adoption of an inclusive economic system called Modified Social Market Economy: and 3) Strengthening of Our Political Party System.
As to the question of what type of Federalism model our country should adopt, our suggestion is to adopt a hybrid Federalism model of cooperative and competitive type of Federalism which may be called “Coop-etitive” Federalism model. This means the adoption of the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago’s (KPP’s) initial five big, rich and strong Federal Regions namely: 1) North Luzon, 2) National Capital 3) South Luzon, 4) Visayas and 4) MinSuPala (Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan and other laudable proposals of the Consultative Committee (Con-Com). This compromised Federalism model seems to be the most logical approach to this issue. Political and economic viabilities are of at most importance in going federal. Of course, the Constitutional Commission to be created by President Duterte for the purpose of Constitutional Reform will have the last say on this matter subject to the approval of our people in a nationwide Plebiscite.
An extra ordinary problem requires extra ordinary solution if we want to truly liberate our people from the clutches of Filipino imperialists and save our nation from being broken up by secession movement.
As our beloved departed federalist friend Rey Magno Teves once rightly said “Federalism is an idea whose time has come!” With President Duterte’s transformative leadership and fearless political will, our protector of the people” military’s wisdom of discernment and the Filipino people’s exercise of “Direct Democracy” through People’s Mandated RevGov or Expanded People Initiative, who will dare obstruct our desire and drive for real Social Transformation for the sake of our distressed citizenry and country?
To properly guide us in our laudable undertaking of real Social Transformation, we propose Dream Philippines as our Shared Vision with its corresponding Mission statement below:
Vision – A nation of God-loving people, united in diversity, with full democracy, diamond –shaped just society, sustainable prosperity, and lasting peace.
Mission- to pursue real social transformation for human development and the rebuilding of our nation.
May God guide and bless us in this historic and noble task for His Glory and our country.