“This is no time for ease and comfort. It is a time to dare and endure.”(Winston Churchill).
It has also been said that “comfort is the enemy of progress”. That’s why our “Fedaralists” Prayer” starts with:
“Disturb us O Lord
To dare more boldly
To venture on wider sea
Where storms shall show
Actually, this Prayer is one of the favorite prayers of our departed federalist friend Rey Magno Teves. He untiringly fought for Federalism for many years. May his soul now rest in peace.
I wrote this article, on July 28, 2019 immediately after the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago (KPP) had an evening dialogue with Prof. Nur Misuari, founder of the Muslim National Liberation Front.
Here are some of the highlights of said dialogue:
1. Our country is terribly beset with many nagging problems of rampant corruption, widespread poverty, criminalities, terrorism, illegal drugs, unresponsive and oppressive political system, regulatory capture by oligarchs and unconscionable elite, unabated environmental degradation, moral degradation and other socio-eco political ills.
2. We must immediately address these problems during the term of President Duterte who has the social –political will to pursue Real Transformation in our country for our people’s total liberation.
3. Per Prof.Misuari, President Duterte promised Federalism to them during his presidency. Hence,he did not anymore involve in the formation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
4. MNLF’s ideology now is Egalitarian Federalism – the only option for peace and prosperity in the Philippines.
5. The Federalism Model Prof. Misuari prefers is 3 Federated Regions – Luzon, Visayas and MinSuPala (Bangsamoro Ancestral Domain). This will rectify, according to him, the historical injustice committed to our Muslim and Indigenous Filipinos of this region.
6. Our country is now in a Crossroad between Federalism and disintegration of our nation thru a Mindanao Secession.
7. No Federalism Scenario during the Presidency of Duterte could result in a peaceful movement for the oppressed people of MinSuPala which could lead to the creation of a Federal Republic of MinSuPala.
8. Prof. Misuari is still the recognized Muslim Filipino observer to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Thus, his strong influence to the Muslim countries cannot be over emphasized. On the other hand, OIC has great influence in the United Nation General Assembly. Obviously, he is a good bridge for the Philippine to OIC and ultimately to UN which can be utilized as the need arises.
9. Prof. Misuari views the move for the secession of Mindanao as a LIBERATION movement.
We learned that there will be a conference of all Federalism stakeholders this August 7, 2019 called by no less than President Duterte. KPP member Atty. Bong Parcasio informed Prof. Misuari of this and he (Misuari) said he will attend if invited. Unfortunately, this was postponed indefinitely.
By the time of the publication of this article, my video presentation on Federalism would have been submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform (IATF) for consideration and appropriate action. Said video deals with KPP’s Convert-EDUCATE unique and time-tested way which is a very effective Methodology on Federalism Education Campaign. IATF’s academician way of EDUCATE and hopefully CONVERT is not suited for this kind of political game. Its Youtube video account is https://youtube/5VGoM21oHo.
Clearly, the raging battle for the hearts and minds of our people for Federalism, which not mentioned in the last SON of President Duterte, is not “dead and ready for cremation” as what Senator Lacson and Drilon said. The hot issue of Federalism, no doubt, is too complicated. Hence, this is better planned at a ‘back door conference”. Furthermore, this difficult issue has great implications on the coming 2022 Presidential elections.
To us die-hard Federalists who are very much concerned of healing our sick society and addressing our failing democracy, want our children to have a truly humane and just society. We cry loud and clear to our political leaders, “Give us Federalism or we will get it ourselves through the exercise of “direct democracy.” “Remember, that we the people are your BOSS. We pay your salaries and allowances.
In the July 30, 2019 shooting straight column in the Philippine Star , Bobet S. Avila asked: “What about a people’s initiative for Cha-cha?” He pointed out: “If you asked Don Pepe ABueva (Chair of Pres. Arroyo’s Consultative Commission) 13 years ago and may be today, he believes that based on the results of the consultations that they have conducted, they learned that many people are supporting the proposal. It is not time to listen to the people? Is it not time for them to make the decision?” Charter proposal was to change the Charter through a People’s Initiative. Pepe Abueva pointed out that a “People’s Initiative” to amend the Constitution should not be stopped because in the end, the people will still be the one to decide on the matter.” My response: “Yes to People’s Initiative but an EXPANDED ONE THRU THE EXERCISE OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY BY OUR PEOPLE.”