November 1, 2019
Dear friend Rey,
Today we are celebrating, All Saints Day – your day. I miss you so much especially so that I’m very disturbed now as what you want us to be and you are far away from us. Yes, I always pray your favorite prayer of:
“Disturb us, O Lord
To dare more boldly
To venture on wider sea
Where storms shall show
I’m also reminded and guided by what you always told me that “comfort is the enemy of progress”.
Unfortunately Rey, still most of our political leaders in Congress are very comfortable with the status quo to continually protect and promote their own political and personal selfish interests. Hence, they prefer to stay near the shore for “safety” and would not dare go to the “wider sea” of real Social Transformation to heal our very sick Philippine society.
Furthermore Rey, those who were mandated by President Duterte to pursue Federalism and Constitutional Reform seriously blundered in their assigned task perhaps because of their hidden agenda, intellectual superiority, and/or ignorance of the intricacies of going Federal and in the pursuit of Constitutional Reform. They failed to come out with Federalism model that could gain wide constituency and their messaging and methodology were very wanting, Rey. DILG with their new CORE Strategy is trying hard to rectify this error. We do hope they will succeed this time, to properly do their assigned task in educating our people on Federalism and Constitutional Reform.
On the other hand, your PDP-Laban Party whose major platform of government is Federalism, you know, missed the golden opportunity to push for Federalism when your party was in power during the Presidency of Tita Cory. Now PDP-Laban is again in power during the Presidency of Ka Digong. “Malaking lokohan na ito pagmagpalpak uli ang PDP-Laban ngayon! Di ba Rey?” This could very well mean a grand deception of our people courtesy of the PDP-Laban Party by using Federalism merely to win their elections, gain political Power, and enrich themselves (with some few exceptions).
To compound these problems, the different Federal Advocate groups, most of them also with their own hidden agenda, are in disarray that confusion reigns in their midst. They decided to agree to disagree. Only President Duterte can save Federalism now. He promised it to us when he was campaigning for the presidency. It is his covenant with our people. “Kung gusto may paraan. Pero kung ayaw may dahilan.” But we are confident that he will do it before his term ends. Surely, he is aware of the terrible consequences of a NO FEDERALISM SCENARIO during the term of President Duterte which are:
1. The revival of the Mindanao secession movement.
2. The increase in narco-terrorism.
3. Possible financial crisis
These are the three gathering “Perfect Storms” threatening our country Rey. On my part Rey, you were fully aware of my passion and ability in advocating for Federalism since we first organized “Lihuk Pederal Davao” movement in the middle part of the nineties that terminated into a nationwide movement called “Citizens’ Movement for a Federal Philippines,” which was officially launched in Marikina City in 2000. Since our time together up to now I never wavered in my Federalism advocacy and became more aggressive to do what is right for our country as our national heroes Rizal, Bonifacio and Mabini admonished Filipinos to do. I’m now disturbed by the Lord, daring boldly as I “venture in the wider sea” of strongly advocating for Federalism. Our last option for Federalism is President Duterte’s strong political will with People’s Mandate. Yes, only President Duterte can save Federalism. Please ask God to “disturb him too”, to do the needful for the liberation of our people from the clutches of Filipino imperialists and heal our society. Will it be a Federal Republic of the Philippines or a Federal Republic of Mindanao ultimately, is the big question? Time will tell which is which. Frankly, I go for the former but can live with the latter if that’s what President Duterte and our people will decide on.
Lastly Rey, please pray for us. Please continue our advocacy up, there for God is always the Final Arbiter on all matters. No need for me to say God be with you for you are already with Him.
Yours truly, Chito
PS. The Misuari-led MNLF continuing peace talk with President Duterte seems another good option in our country’s shift to a Federal System. Per Misuari, President Duterte committed to them Federalism before 2022. This is worth watching for, Rey.