PIMENTEL, MANDANAS:

Federalism can be fast-tracked

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STRONG ADVOCATES Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel says the Charter can be amended in just six months, at a news conference in Greenhills, San Juan City. With him is incoming Batangas Gov. Hermilando “Dodo” Mandanas. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

A shift from a presidential to a federal form of government is possible for the Philippines if President-elect Rodrigo Duterte pushes its legislation and Congress works fast to amend the Constitution, former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and incoming Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas said on Tuesday.

Pimentel and Mandanas believe that Congress can amend the Charter in just six months.
“It is good if it is done immediately” while Duterte’s popularity remains high in the minds of the people, Pimentel said in a news briefing. “Mas madaling kumbinsihin ang mga tao ngayon kaysa later on [It is easier to convince the people now than later],” he said.

“You do it by Constituent Assembly, then form a leadership. You can do it in six months basta hindi magkalat ang diskusyon doon [as long as discussions go smoothly],” the former senator said.

“They [Duterte administration] will help me push for it in any systematic manner. Hindi naman ako nababahala dyan [I am not worried],” he added.


However, Pimentel noted that it is important for the people to know and understand what federalism is, and why the Duterte camp is advocating it.

With a federal form of government, Pimentel said, basic services will be given directly to the people.

“It will bring the matter of development to the hands of the people more directly. In other words, power will now be transferred from the hands of a highly centralized government in Metro Manila to the different federal states in a realistic manner so that it will benefit the ordinary man on the streets. They will no longer depend on the national government,” he explained.

Pimentel said under federalism, each federal state shall be represented by one senator, governor and vice governor and other local officials.

But, according to him, the only way to change the form of government is by amending the Charter.

“You cannot just pass an ordinary law. You have to revise the Constitution,” he pointed out.

In 2008, Pimentel filed a joint resolution seeking to form a federal government, but the move never took off in the Senate because some lawmakers were worried that it be might be used to extend the term of then-President Gloria Arroyo.

“I filed a resolution to hold a Constituent Assembly which was approved by 16 senators at the time,” the former lawmaker recalled.

Pimentel said the best way to change the system is through a Constitutional Convention, although this is more costly.

Under Section 1, Article XVII of the Constitution, accepted manners of amending the Constitution will be done either through a Constitutional Convention, Constituent Assembly or People’s Initiative.

Meanwhile, Mandanas said the Charter can be amended if the Duterte administration has the political will to do so.

When Mandanas was a congressman, he filed a resolution amending the Constitution and even introduced a measure on how amendments could be legally expedited.

The governor-elect said there is a fourth and more expeditious way of amending the Constitution – the Senate and House of Representatives introducing a measure and each chamber voting on it separately.

For the bill to take effect, it should be approved by 75 percent of the members of the Senate and the House, Mandanas added.

The incoming governor of Batangas also pointed out that a plebiscite is required in approving any amendment to the Constitution, except when introduced through People’s Initiative.

Pimentel said Mandanas’ proposal is acceptable.

“To my mind, the interpretation of Governor Mandanas is encompassed already in the third way – the Constituent Assembly. He is right [because the original plan of the Constitutional Commission called by then-President Corazon Aquino was to have only one House but we ended up having two],” Pimentel said.

“Now you have to talk to two Houses of Congress [where the Senate and the House can adopt a principle for revising the Constitution by voting separately. Separately because there are only 24 senators, and they will be defeated by almost 300 congressmen],” he added.

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10 Comments

  1. eltee mulawin on

    >>> Ha ha ha !!!!sadyang ang mga politician mga ulol ay tulad ni ng mga “elite businessmen” na mga ulol sa ni Duterte.

    Lahat ng mga ayaw sa pagbabago ng form of governemnt “NGAYON SILA NAMAN ANG MAY GUSTO BAGUHIN ANG CONSTITUTION.

    IPALIWANAG NINYO MABUTI SA TAONG BAYAN….
    1. ANO ANG KABUTIHAN AT KASAMAAN SA TAONG BAYAN AT SA PAMAMAHALA NG BANSA SA KASALUKUYAN PRESIDENTIAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT AT FEDERALISM FORM OF GOVERNMENT?
    2. SINO ANG MGA MAMUMUNO SA BAWAT FEDERAL STATE AT PAANO SILA MAHIHIRANG O MAITATALAGA BILANG PININO?
    3. AT MAGKANO ANG BAWAT KIKITAIN AT IPASUSUWELDO AT MGA INSENTIBO FINANCIAL NG MGA MAMUMUNO ?
    4. AT BAWAT FEDERAL STATE AY MAY SARILING BANDILA O WATAWAT TULAD NG NAUS AT GINAGAWA NG MGA MILF, MNLF AT IBA PANG MGA MUSLIM REBEL?

  2. The big question, where is your territorial jurisdiction?

    By Rule of Law the World Territorial Jurisdiction OCT 01-4S HACIENDA FILIPINA in the treaty of Paris was Resolved by Supreme Court resolution dated November 28, 2012 to Christ prophesied (Matt. 12:39-42) Queen of the South Hrh Salvacion Legaspi Y Espiritu Santo (Divine Feminine) of Grandfather Maharlikhan TRIBE. Align by Rule of Law of Sovereignty, with Grace of GOD.

    The Commonwealth Constitution ordained by God is the better caliber for the State Resources are for Common Wealth to benefit the sovereign Filipino people, and not for oligarchy agenda, and this is invoked with the Successor of Mother Title OCT 01-4S HACIENDA FILIPINA.

  3. The most important question to be answered is: How will the Republic of the Philippines gain territorial jurisdiction?

    Without establishing the territorial rights of jurisdiction, the federal government to be made is just the same as the current Republic of the Philippines where it has no jurisdiction and right to govern the archipelago. On the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Republic of the Philippines is the interim civil government eatablished by the US and itbia only limited up to 1974 and cannot be extended. This defacto government has already lost its right because the reconstitution proceeding seeking to transfer the ownership of the Archipelago from the lost owner to the government in the LRC/CC 3957-P was denied twice. The CA GR SP 70014 voided the reconstitution proceeding and other court releases inlined with LRC/CC3957-P. On the GR. NO. 171913, the Supreme Court resolved the ownership in favor of HRH. Salvacion Legaspi and further resolves to expunged all other claimants including the Republic of the Philippines.

  4. I strongly agree with the response of “to the max”. In the first place, who will assign which provinces will belong to a particular federal state and how long will the transition period be? Federalism is a proposal of President Elect Rodrigo Duterte but his term of Office of six years will not ensure that Federalism will work for our country. Its approval should not be fast tracked just to prove that our countrymen supports his Administration. There should be a thorough study if it will really work for our country in the long run, and, it should be for the benefit of the majority. Federalism or not, what our leaders should do is to stop corruption.

  5. Mga_imbento on

    bakit nag mamadali sila sa Federalism!!! dapat alam na muna ng lahat ng PILIPINO kung ano ito bago ipatupad. Hindi pwede na lagi lang sinasabi na “Magiging EQUAL ang distribution ng PONDO sa bawat Federal state na mabubuo” , kulang kung yan lang lagi sasabihin. Baka naman minamadali Federalism kasi alam ng mga taga Mindanao na may Langis sila at pag nakuha na nila yun hihiwalay na sila sa Pilipinas.
    Sa tingin ko yun ang totoo kasi ang MNLF gusto nila pag nagkaroon nag Bangsa Moro sa kanila Palawan at Zamboanga which is mayaman sa Natural GAs.

  6. Federalism a.k.a feudalism/warlordism. Do you think after shifting to federalism, those local political dynasties would be as if they have finally found enlightenment and realized that they need to relinquish their power and allow the ordinary people to participate in running their respective (local) states?

    These local politicians will only be able to consolidate their hold in power, and establish their small kingdoms, plus have full control of the resources. It will be localization of criminal activity and exploitation of the resources.

    Yes to shift from Presidential to parliamentary system, but not to federalism.

  7. Who wins and who loses in Federalism ? The poor states will lose funding and the rich states like Metro Manila will win because they will not be sharing their wealth from poor states. the poor becomes poorer and the rich becomes richer. Metro Manila does not need Mindanao to live but Mindanao needs Manila to eat. That is reality. Who will rule these states ? The same old corrupt politicians that is stealing their budgets. Look at the state of Ohio, a very poor state in the US. They can only survive and not prosper because they funding comes from only their state territory.

    • jason juarez on

      oh…sure ka dyan?baka naklimutan mo mineral resources nasa mindanao?exaple lang palawan naural gas earn more than 90 billion,ang napunta sa kanila ay 3 billion, so sino kumain sa more than 90 billion?

  8. Danny Cascolan on

    XAng Pagbabago ba ay ang Pagsira sa Pilipinas?

    Excerpt commentary,

    But there are known factors in the Philippines that can evolve from federalism, such as secessionist movements rebellions, failed states, balkanization, dynastic and neoliberalization controls and interest, conflicting and inferior ( doctored ) law makings and enforcement, syndicated corruption and illegitimate operations, realistically poor regions to start or sustain as a state that will be just exploited, all leads to dissolution of our one nation.

    Parts of the Archipelago ( that used to be one nation Philippines ) will be both helpless to complete colonial economic neoliberalization control and if there be external agression.
    (Palagay ko pati isla mabebenta )

    And really the illicit movements of smuggled goods would be impossible to apprehend as borders means protective blankets for mafia type syndicates and operations.

    – Danny Cascolan

    Excerpt commentary,

    I would go for a project of national integration, lets do away with autonomy concepts, yes ethnic corporations and cooperatives are better concepts, I lived in Lamitan, Basilan with Yakans my High School days, majority of my friends are Yakans, lol they just want to live peaceful lives, but someone did make artificial wars.

    — Danny Cascolan

  9. tony de leon on

    kung babagal bagal si Digong he might have some surprises in his visions and plans for the nation. He should fast tract the federalism.