• Scrap the BBL, rewrite the Constitution

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    THE need to wage peace, not war, in the South has not waned, but the conditions under which peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other rebel groups must be pursued have drastically changed. The Jan. 25 Mamasapano, Maguindanao massacre, in which 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force commandos were killed by the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, has altered everything.

    It is now clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that the basic assumptions underlying the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed between the MILF and the Aquino regime, and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which seeks to implement it, are flawed; they will promote war rather than peace. Therefore, the BBL must be withdrawn, and the peace process begun all over again.

    Some prejudicial questions
    The process must continue with all the parties concerned. But only after clearing certain prejudicial questions, and excluding foreign parties seeking our country’s dismemberment. Who are these parties now? Malaysia? The Western powers? More to the point, is the MILF still the party to parley with after all the deaths it had caused among our law enforcers? Has it not been reduced to just one of the players after the BIFF and the newly emerged Justice for the Islamic Movement (JIM) started engaging our armed forces?

    Now, after coddling two international terrorists at Mamasapano, how does the MILF propose to convince anyone that it has no policy of harboring terrorists in its camp? And how does it propose to convince anyone that the BIFF and JIM are not just its special arms tasked to continue the war while it talks peace with the government?

    Danger of balkanization
    These questions must be satisfactorily answered before we move on. Prudence requires that we scrap rather than rush the BBL, but we must stay focused on the fundamental principles that should guide our actions. Genuine autonomy, as an intrinsic feature of federalism, is one of these principles, shorn of the features that could result in ‘Balkanization’. This is a geopolitical term (Wikipedia) that refers to the violent fragmentation or division of a region or a state into several regions or states that are often hostile to one another, as happened in the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the Ottoman Empire, between 1817 and 1912.

    We should not allow this to happen in Mindanao. Surprisingly, this was never discussed at any level or length before or during the MILF-Aquino peace negotiations. But the threat of balkanization is real. It proceeds from the attempt to carve a confessional Islamic sub-state out of a purely secular multi-religious nation-state, composed of those who would have declared themselves “Bangsamoro,” and no longer Filipinos.

    Two serious questions
    This presents enormous challenges to the Constitution. First, with respect to the separation of Church and State and the survival of our multicultural system. And second, with respect to our common allegiance as citizens to the Republic of the Philippines.

    Not only does the Constitution mandate the separation of Church and State to be inviolable. The Bill of Rights also provides: “No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.”

    All these are incompatible with Islam, which makes no distinction between Church and State, between state politics and state religion. The Islamic state is a seamless politico-religious whole; if the BBL passes, and the Bangsamoro becomes a reality, there may be no legal authority within or outside the Bangsamoro to enforce the above-quoted constitutional provisions. The Bangsamoro will probably simply not recognize such authority.

    Ethnic and religious cleansing
    This could result in only one thing. Either the Christian inhabitants would be physically driven out of the territory, or they would have to relocate on their own. This could ultimately mean some form of ethnic or religious cleansing. I cannot imagine the Christian settlers who have worked all their lives to develop their own lands and grow their own cattle simply giving up. They would most likely resist those who would claim that their long-dead ancestors used to own all the lands in the area before the Christians came, and that they would now like to repossess them. This could provoke a clash of arms. This is what makes the BBL not an instrument of peace, but a cause of war.

    Bangsamoro, not Filipino
    Article I, Section 1of the BBL—and this is the second point—provides that “those who at the time of conquest and colonization were considered natives or aboriginal inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands, including Palawan, and their descendants, whether of mixed or full blood, shall have the right to identify themselves as Bangsamoro by ascription or self-ascription. Spouses and their descendants are classified as Bangsamoro.”

    This proclaims Bangsamoro as a nationality, separate and distinct from that of being a Filipino or any other nationality. “Dual citizenship” is not mentioned at all. Understandably so, because any mention of dual citizenship would expose the fact that what is being created by the BBL is a “separate and independent state,” instead of some nameless entity, and one inhabited by Bangsamoros rather than by Filipinos. So one is either a Filipino or a Bangsamoro.

    By calling these inhabitants of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan “Bangsamoro,” Article I, Section I disingenuously declares the same territory as Bangsamoro territory, as distinguished from the national territory. Balkanization is thus accomplished to the cheers of the Aquino crowd without the MILF having to actually conquer the country. This is horrible enough, but a much bigger horror awaits the country.

    ISIS and the Caliphate
    The radical perversion of Islam has given rise to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. A US-led coalition is trying to contain it, and the world is praying it would succeed. But whether or not it does, ISIS has declared that it aims to spread the Islamic Caliphate across the globe—from Morocco through North Africa and the Middle East, down to India and Pakistan, and then to Bangladesh and Myanmar, and then to southern Thailand and then to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and finally southern Philippines.

    We need all peace-loving Filipino Muslims or Muslim Filipinos to work together to prevent that from happening. But carving out a purely Islamic state or substate in our purely secular multi-denominational nation-state is no way to prevent it; it is one way of welcoming it. Multicultural federalism could be the antidote, but the reckless crafting of the CAB and the BBL may have unduly tarnished the idea of federalism itself. People do not always distinguish.

    Multicultural federalism
    In 1982, I wrote the political party platform for the Social Democratic Party, which Reuben Canoy and I had organized with a few other Mindanaoan friends. This was the first party document that advocated a multicultural federal system for the Philippines, akin to that of Switzerland, Canada, Germany and the United States. I have not deviated from that position since, and I am happy to see that Davao’s Mayor Rudy Duterte, among others, has recently been pushing for it.

    We need multicultural federalism not just for Mindanao but for the entire Philippines. It could be the answer to our insurgency and underdevelopment. We need not adopt all of it in one go, but probably in stages. We could look at the various successful models to learn from their mistakes, and avoid drifting towards the path of the Balkan states.

    Unlike the proposed Bangsamoro, multicultural federalism should put a premium on ethnic cultural values, but no cultural ghettos should be created by drawing the territorial boundaries of the component federal units along cultural lines. Cultural majorities and minorities should freely interact with, and learn from each other in order to build the community values that will form the moral and cultural bedrock of each federal unit. It should liberate the creative energies of each unit to enable it to simultaneously compete and cooperate at top speed with every other unit.

    Within such a system, no ethnic group needs to claim primacy over all others so that its own traditions and culture would flourish. Genuine autonomy, though not separatism, is guaranteed.

    This is a large and ambitious project that could easily provide the turning point in our development. We have to give it our best shot. We cannot leave it in the hands of a regime that has long demonstrated a complete lack of vision and competence, and long lost its moral authority to remain in office. The people must be directly involved in it. The country’s federalization must be their own handiwork, through a new constitution written by delegates specifically elected for that purpose.

    This is one much needed reform which Cory Aquino avoided when she became revolutionary president in 1986. And this is what the National Transformation Council wants to see after her mentally impaired son gets out. This is why we must now discard the BBL, and compel the Aquino regime to step out.

    fstatad@gmail.com

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    29 Comments

    1. I just would like to add history here.

      In 1950’s, the province of Lanao was one mighty province. Then the late Congressman Laurentino Badelles( head of Philippine House of Representative ) drafted a bill that will divide Lanao province into 2: Lanao Del Norte and Lanao Del Sur. Its main goal is to provide “Peace” between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao. Decades later after Lanao province was divided into 2, peace has not been attained in Mindanao nor in the province of Lanao del Norte.

      Moving on toe world history:

      The Iran-Iraq War ( 1980-1988) resulted to over a million Muslims lives lost.
      The Hama Massacre ( 1982 ) in Syria resulted to over 25,000 to 40,000 estimated Muslim lives lost under Hafez Al-Assad.
      Idid Amin ( another Muslim ) dictatorial rule of Uganda in the 1970s resulted to an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Ugandan lives lost.
      Bashar Al-Assad ( current leader of Syria ) have resulted to the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Syrian deaths and counting.
      For centuries , Sunni and Shiite Muslims have been killing each other since the founding of Islam in 600 AD. One can even read the news last year ( December 2014 ) where Taliban murdered over 132 Pakistani school children.

      These are but a few atrocities of Muslims against Muslims.
      My question is: What makes the RP government think that peace can be achieved with the MILF, MNLF, BIFF, ASG? Plus the proposal for RP to pay the MILF billions of pesos for peace? MILF will simply used the money to buy more modern weapons to fight against the ill equipped RP Armed Forces.

      Peace will never be achieved in the RP. What Muslims want is PIECE of Mindanao! After Mindanao then Muslims will move forward north to Visayas and Luzon! Just remember what took place in 1950s where Lanao was one province. Now it is 2 provinces , yet peace never took place. Several times , Iligan City have been bombed by Muslim terrorist.

      I hope the people will remember history to conclude that peace with Islam is pipe dream. Islam in Arabic means: Domination and Control!

    2. eltee mulawin on

      >>> The way to resolve or solve this things in this nation is similarly like HOW A PERSON OR PEOPLE CLEAN THEMSELVES EVERY DAY OR MOSTLY IF NOT EVERY DAY? First of all you have to take a bath. But how you take a bath and clean yourself properly? The answer you think is the answer how we change this government and The Filipino People of the Philippines.

    3. Bert O. Romero on

      But, why not cut and cut cleanly? Why not allow those Mindanaoans who wish to have their own Bangsamoro have their own state, as what happened to East Timor? Indonesia today is not much worse with a separate and independent East Timor than it was before the latter was granted its independence. Of course, it has always been said that no president would want to see the dismemberment of the Philippine national territory during his administration. On the contrary, would’nt it be a president’s greatest achievement to oversee the birth of a new state from the ribs of the Philippine national territory? Those areas – barangays, municipalities, cities , and provinces – which will opt to join the new, nascent state in a plebiscite in the entire Mindanao called specifically for that purpose will comprise the territory of the new state which we will tentatively call the Islamic State of Bangsamoro. After the plebiscite, a special election will be held in the areas which compose the ISB to select their leaders. Upon the inauguration of the leaders, the role of the Philippine government as midwife ends and a new state is born.

      • the majority of mindanaoans are not for bbl, for your info. the one who wants it are those rebels…

    4. it’s for our our soldiers and policemen to act now and withdraw their support for this administration. they should act now and follow the constitution and protect us.

    5. Amnata Pundit on

      Won’t Federalism balkanize the country just as well? Federalism means to federate several states together. That means we will create the states first then stitch them together into a federal system, isn’t that like an organ transplant where the transplant will always be in a dangerous state of instability? The patient can live long only if he is lucky, but every day is a dicey affair. You will need a lot of drugs to keep the system going, but those drugs have long term toxic effects (think pork barrel). Besides that, you will need individual state parliaments which will not only create more job openings to these kind of politicians we have today (NO MORE PLEASE!), it will mean more red tape and more corruption! Given the fractious nature the Filipino politicians have shown so far and the unstable nature of having several states who are only one step away from declaring sovereignty and independence, how long before this transplant will fail, as ALL transplants of our political systems since the Spaniards and the friars came HAVE FAILED to provide for the people’s real needs? All westerns models have failed in this country including religion, and we are here because of that. I believe we need a strong central government that can hold the country together but its power must come directly from the people, THE MANY NOT THE FEW. Starting from the day the West blighted this once happy islands 500 years ago, since when did we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people? The country’s experience with western models can be summarized in these few words: ” THEY LIVE, WE SUFFER.” But there is a political system that has existed since time immemorial, something indigenous and not transplanted, and that is the BARANGAY SYSTEM (I believe this is the direction Marcos was pointing to and not towards a federal system as Reuben Canoy suggested). If we will just use our brains for once to mine the wisdom hidden in this ancient but very Asian and Filipino system, we can have a real government that serves the people instead of oppressing them. A government built from the bottom up.The only people afraid of the barangays are the elites. All elected officials must be acceptable to his neighbors first before he can climb up the ladder. Do you think all these politicians ruling over us today will win as barangay official in their own neighborhood? Even if some of them do, their fellow barangay officials will not choose these creatures to rule over them for sure. They will choose their own kind, and that kind is the common folks like them who don’t appear as snake-oil salesmen like ALL of the elected officials of today. Do you think his neighbors in Greenhills will vote for Drilon as barangay official? Binay? This will effectively eliminate the current political class and usher in a new kind that is accountable to his neighborhood community! So junk all western models and start thinking out of the box. Throw away your western lenses, stop overdosing on western ideas, and open your eyes wide and study our history, tradition and culture more closely. That is where the answer lies. All we need is a system that serves the people, period. Remember, maka-DIYOS, maka-TAO at maka-BAYAN.

      • Better get a look at many countries who embraced the Federal system so you can better understand how that system works.

      • Amnata Pundit on

        In a federal system or any other western system the source of the political leaders power is not the people but the rich and foreign interests. That is true in western countries. That they are elected is only an illusion. They are selected by the rich. Under the barangay system the power comes from the people directly. No amount of meddling by oligarchs and foreigners can change it.

    6. Tatad, bcuz you have no place in the government bcuz you are balimbing, you better shot up. Don’t act too much as a knowledgeable and all-know person, you are sip-sip person, and that is a kind of person na dapat iligpit.

    7. Vicente Penetrante on

      It is a worldwide view that countries ruled by Muslims are backwards. They ranked at the bottom in regards to human rights, women’s rights, and political freedom. Yet they insist to rule and will not stop proclaiming Islamic states. They are using the name of God to kill.
      We cannot allow the teaching of narrow-mindedness take over open-mindedness.

    8. Phil Comment on

      A WEEK BEFORE he was shot and killed on August 21,1983, I had a chance to meet with the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino at his home-in-exile in Boston. And his last words to me were, ”If I get to be president, I will declare martial law because that’s the only way I will be able to solve the problems of the nation.” If Ninoy Aquino had lived to be president. on that score he would have failed – as his wife Cory failed, and his son Noynoy is bound to fail. For no president since the Philippine Commonwealth has ever won the war against the nation’s social, political and economic woes.
      TODAY WE ARE in the same rut that we were yesterday. We are besieged by corruption, crime, un­employment and poverty, arid we have become a country of frightened and frustrated people. We are frightened and frustrated as we see senators and congressmen charged with plunder, the vice president and the chief of the national police accused of graft and corruption, and the president violating the constitution by adopting the DAP.
      We are frightened and frustrated as we see businessmen and police characters gunned down by hired killers riding in-tandem on motorcycles, and journalists massacred in broad daylight, then buried with a backhoe marked for “Official Use Only.” We are frightened and frustrated to see our un-employment rate rise to 7.3 percent – the highest among members of the Association of Southeast Nations – and 27 million Filipinos out of work.
      We are frightened and frustrated to see our population climb to 100 million this year, with 28 million struggling below the poverty line and four million eating only once a day.
      IN THE MEANTIME, what are our political leaders doing about it? Projecting themselves via TV ads and conducting investigations in aid of their ambition to be the next president in 2016. Over six decades since the Philippines became a republic, 14 administrations have tried their hand at solving our social, political-and economic troubles­ without success. The crucial question we must now ask ourselves is: Why have their efforts proved futile? Is it due to lack of determination or sheer incompetence? If we look at the matter more closely, we will find that our national leaders may not be entirely to blame.
      OUR PROBLEMS are not only widespread but systemic – they complement each other. As poverty and unemployment breed crime and corruption crime and corruption spawn poverty and unemployment.
      Against this systemic evil, we rely on a dysfunctional political system that is prone to institutional failures, besides fostering the very evil it is supposed to eradicate.
      And what is this ineffectual system? A unitary government that is a legacy of colonialism, whose centralized power suppresses democratic governance, thwarts local development and impedes national progress.
      Before it is too late—before our nation self-destructs – we must discard our present unitary government for one that suits the changing times and the growing needs of our people – the federal form of government.
      IN SIMPLE TERMS a unitary system like ours, vests the power to govern solely in the national government. This concentration of power lays itself open to abuse or misuse by a few at the expense of the many, resulting in political and economic imbalance and injustice.
      It explains why many regions in the Philippines remain poor and underdeveloped. Of 16 provinces
      Adjudged to be the poorest in the country, ten are in Mindanao – with Lanao del Sur topping the list, followed by Maguindanao; Zamboanga del Norte, Saranggani, North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Camiguin, Sultan Kudarat and Sulu.
      The centralization of power also explains why corruption Is rife in Manila more than in the regions or provinces. As the national government is the repository of the nation’s funds and has the power to decide how, when and where they will be spent, its a magnet that draws opportunists and crooks alike..
      In Malacanang and the halls of Congress, so­ called honorable men engage in dishonorable acts by taking huge bribes from building contractors and kickbacks from the organizers of fake NGOs. Because of their proximity.to the people, the virus of corruption is less likely to infect local governments. Also for the same reason, they are more efficient in rendering essential public services and extending help in a calamity or disaster.
      When Super typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern and Central Visayas last year, it took days for the national government The relief effort was further disrupted and delayed by the disappearance of relief goods and money sent by foreign donors, and by a quarrel between national and local officials over who should administer the aid.
      IN THE UNITARY SYSTEM, the growth of the community and the fate of the peoples’ lives are made to depend heavily on the unfounded-and often contrary wisdom of the national government in effect it is the national government that controls the happiness and misery of the people.
      A unitary or centralized form of government is therefore actually a dictatorship functioning under the guise of a democracy. Indeed for being authoritarian, the national government has been dubbed “Imperlal Manila.”
      On the other hand, the core concept of federalism is devolution of powers and functions of the central government. The power is split between the federal government and the state – which could be a region, province or city.
      In the sharing of power, the Federal or National Government usually has control over: National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Immigration , All matters of Currency, National Citizenship, and National Security.
      The State or Regional Government takes full control over its programs and plans in: Natural Resources, Public Works and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Tourism, Taxation, Health Facilities, Education Facilities, Police Force, Judicial System, Cultural Development, Transportation.
      AS CAN BE SEEN, Federalism calls for the government to maintain a close and direct interaction between the political institution and the community it serves. Thus, it accommodates regional preferences
      And diversity, and has room for innovation and experimentation.
      As there are fewer programs and employees at local levels, and the amounts of tax revenues are smaller, citizens exercise more effective control. More importantly, they can keep an eye on how public funds are spent, thereby curbing corruption.
      The policies and available resources of the government can be tailored to fit the problems and needs of the community. Each region will determine its own taxes and these will be based on the economic level of each area. Each will set its own budget, administer its own funds .and manage its own infrastructure projects and essential services – with no strings attached.
      Managing their own affairs will not only foster self-reliance but strengthen participatory democracy. In federalism there is greater opportunity for people to participate in government and greater potential to counter elitism.
      THE STRUGGLE between government by the people and government by the elite – meaning to say, the entrenched politicians and their financial backers ­ is as old as democracy itself. Our constitution provides that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” But quite often those to whom we delegate our sovereign power govern by putting their private interest ahead of the public interest.
      The beauty of federalism is that the people become active participants instead of passive recipients, citizens rattler than subjects. In that capacity they give life and meaning to the democratic concept of “government by the people, of the people, and for the people.”
      In federalism the national government will remain a seat of power but will no longer weld all of it to subjugate the local governments, as Imperial Manila does. And because it will no longer interfere with the construction of a provincial or barangay road or the choice of furniture in a government office, it can function more effectively within its assigned sphere.
      Even Congress will see its burden considerably eased. The regional assemblies will relieve them of having to pass bills of local application, such as naming a school or a town. At present bills of local application comprise 85 percent of the entire workload of the House of Representatives.
      THERE ARE 40 or so established federal governments around the world. Among these are India (the largest democracy), Canada, Australia, Malaysia, and of course the United States of America.
      Since the Americans introduced democracy in the Philippines, we cannot help asking, ‘Why did they not put a federal form of government in place’? And when our leaders were left to frame our constitution by themselves, why did they choose the unitary form of government?
      History provides the answer. When America invaded the Philippines in 1898, she was at war with Spain. While fighting the Spaniards and later the Filipino revolutionaries, the American colonizers deemed it expedient and necessary to impose military rule Throughout the islands. Because of unstable conditions – particularly in Mindanao where the Moros resisted the Americans until 1913 – the civilian government that supplanted the military government was structured in the same way.
      THE FIRST FILIPINO leaders whom the U.S. educated and trained for eventual self-government were colonial babies, so to speak. They were exposed to both the Spanish and American regimes.
      It was therefore no surprise that in 1935, when a convention was called to frame a constitution for the Commonwealth of the Philippines, preparatory to full independence, the delegates opted for a centralized government.
      They wrote the 1935 constitution without considering that the Philippines is an archipelago comprised of 7,107 islands,with diverse ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions. In some areas governments already existed long before the Spanish and the American colonizers arrived on our shores; President Marcos officially recognized this unique diversity of Philippine society. On September 24, 1972 – three days after he declared martial law­ he issued Presidential Decree No. 1 organizing the country into 11 regions. There are now 17 regions, each with a regional administrative center and a military command.
      Critics immediately assailed his move as a ploy to divide and rule the country. Before a group of journalists, Marcos defended his action, saying that the creation of the regions was actually a prelude to federalizing the Philippines-which according to him would be a more democratic form of government. Coming from a dictator, no one took his word seriously at the time. But If he really meant what he said, and had he stayed in power long enough to achieve his aim of federal parliamentary government, he might have been honored today as the real saviour of democracy. . . ..
      President Corazon Aquino holds that title, but, strictly speaking, she was no saviour of democracy. For after declaring revolutionary government and removing properly-elected local officials, she re-established the same colonial government responsible for the discrimination, neglect and underdevelopment of the regions:
      TRADITIONAL POLITICIANS naturally favor centralism. They vehemently oppose federalization for tear of losing their power, perk and privileges.
      One of their arguments is that turning the ship of state around or in another direction is a gigantic task that would take at least 10 years to carry out. This is untrue. All that needs to be done is to change the constitution, and this can be accomplished within a year if we go by the timeline of traditional politicians who want to extend the president’s term.
      The process can be started in 2016, if we elect a president who will advocate federalism as the alternative system to wipe out systemic corruption, crime, unemployment and poverty.
      Another false argument foisted by traditional politicians is that most areas cannot support themselves. They claim that the funds come from Manila and are sent to the provinces for their operational support. Again this is untrue.
      The fact is, the funds are siphoned from the provinces, amassed in Manila, and then doled out to the provinces, cities, and municipalities. The allocations are inadequate, arrive too late, or are woefully short of the region’s requirements. In most cases, local executives have to go to Manila to beg for funds. Federalism will do away with this oppressive practice. At present the local government retains only 30% of all its revenue and sends 70% to Manila. In the federal system, the local governments would retain 70% of all their revenues and .remit only 30% to Manila.
      Here it must be noted that the Bangsamoro Basic Law now pending in Congress seeks to allow the proposed Bangsamoro Political Entity not just 70% but 75% of all its revenues. If approved, the revenue­ sharing arrangement would be clearly unjust to other regions and makes it all the more imperative to federalize the government so that all regions—whether Lumad, Christian or Muslim; whether Tagalog, llocano or Visayan – will be on equal footing as Filipinos.
      JUST AS a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, a nation is no stronger than its weakest part. Under a unitary government, many such parts exist in our country. By terminating the virtual dictatorship of the national government and empowering the regions, provinces and cities to plan and carry out their own development with indigenous talent, resource and energy, they will not only lift themselves but the entire nation to new heights of progress.
      As the nation attains political stability and economic security with justice for all, our people will also gain the moral fortitude and determination to stamp out the evils fostered by a centralized government ­ corruption, crime, unemployment and poverty.
      Thank you and may God bless the Philippines.
      (Talk delivered by ATTY. REUBEN R. CANOY at the Mindanao Leaders’ Summit Grand Men Seng Hotel, Davao City, 1 December 2014)

      • Where did you get that data that the country failing. Do not tell me from the Cohuangco. The picture of the Philippines in the US where I lived now is completely the opposite of what you are saying. I think you are one of the Filipinos who just want this government to fail for your own agenda when it happen. God knows what, maybe part of corruption Do not compare the marcos declaration of martial law if Sr. Aquino became a President and declared one.. Sr, Aquino do not have a wife like Imelda.

      • @eloy It is the same as the picture of the US/Obama government we see here is completely the opposite as what our relatives who lives there in the US are saying.

      • sonny dela cruz on

        Eloy, I don’t think you understand what he is saying. It is about the advantage of the Federal system to a Unicameral system of government. That the Federalism is much better than the present one which will cut the power of the National government and give the rest to the regions for their own progress and development.

      • Larry Ebersole on

        any government is the same if the culture of the people does not conform or follow what is mandated.
        A government is like a contract where a group of people decides on a system or policy and profess to follow this system for the good of everyone. anytime that someone does not follow the system, the whole system is disrupted. So the rule is anyone who does not conform will be forced to conform or be penalized for not following the contract, that simply said;now our government is one which has people supposed to lead others into following the contracts are the very one’s who are not following the contract…to me it is clear,any government will fail if this is the culture and I do not believe that corruption is only in the main government,I see it from the top to the most bottom one, the LGU’s SK where the young politicians are inducted to corruption.

      • To eloy. Why don’t you go back here in the Philippines and see for yourself instead of looking at the garbage being fed to you. – “The picture of the Philippines in the US where I lived now is completely the opposite of what you are saying.”

    9. victor m. hernandez on

      “Clash of Civilization”, I have not read the book,but read or heard many opinions that the first cabout. Apparently, this is happening because of the economic prosperity of Muslim countries and are able to support the propagation of Islam, and Islamic States. I have read an article that states a prediction or forecast that the first European country that will turn Islamic, in a few decades, is France.
      In a parochial level, the proposed Bangsamoro “sub-state” is a step in a trajectory of Islamic state. It is a big state in Central Mindanao, at least. The untapped potential of the natural resources of the area will nurture the aspiration of a Islamic state.
      Although assimilation of Muslims in Philippine society are realities in sporadic areas in the Philippines, the advance of Islamic state mentality will always be present.

      My sense is assimilition of Muslims in Philippine society, and forestall any Islamic state or ‘sub-state’, is to nurture a “Regency-mode” of governance in the Central Mindanao area, or in a larger domain, in the ARMM. The government need to enhance it development support and empowerment of the ARMM and its constituencies (Muslims, Christians, Lumads and other indigenous communities), thereby nurturing multi-culturalism. In brief, ensure development support, and stop government neglect of the ARMM so that it progresses towards modernity and multi-culturalism, within a Unitary system or even in a Federal system of government (if that will happen at all).
      The alternative to continuing neglect that leaves poor, hungry, impoverished, and ignorant and disempowered people and constituencies, is continuing insurgencies, rebellion, ‘sub-state’ autonomy, and eventually secession and balkanization. Imperial Manila has reigned for too long to the neglect of the countryside and regions (ARMM being the poorest region in the country).

    10. The Supreme Court, the country’s court of last resort, and the ultimate arbiter will declare the BBL unconstitutional. The Pnoy and her cohorts initiative,the Congress approval, the crafting of the BBl will all be put to waste.The whole process will ultimately terminate at the hands of the Supreme Court who in their usual independent right mind will reject it. Time and Money and Effort is permanently lost.Malaysia lost. Internal war resumes and funding from Malaysian money continuous. Lets change some of our charter in our constitution. Elect senators by region to compel us to have Muslim senators.represents ARMM in Congress. Develop Mindanao’s infrastructure instead of buying bullets.

    11. Governments are formed by people to protect them and establish law and order. Law and order are necessary to give safety and peace to the people. The form of government is not the key. The presence of peace is the key. Here is what must do, regardless of the form of government we have or the person running that government.

      1. Disarm and Disband. Pass a law that prohibits weapons larger or deadlier than a psitol in the hands of citizens. Pass a law that makes it illegal to belong to or command any private army.
      2. Enforce the laws. Enforce all laws on every island. This will establish law and order on all islands.

      Peace will come automatically once law and order is established.

    12. Leodegardo Pruna on

      Federalism would be a very good alternative and that would need a Constitutional Convention to study and effect it. God bless the Philippines.

    13. Very good article in promoting federalism. The big problem now is that Noynoy had already advanced his machinery including manipulating Congress to pass the BBL by hook or by crook before the date of his last SONA and another big headache to all of us is the present status now of MILF being the friend peace pact partner of Noynoy pampered with billions of money supposedly for their social development, however, some observers including that of Senator Cayetano alleged that in recent times they vigorously built their army having a secret arm factory and importing bomb experts, how to contain them when the peace process fail is a big worry to our security forces. Then if the BBL and the Bangsamoro sub-state will be really bad for our country’s future, let’s be united to fight its passage and educate the Filipino people on the ills of Noynoy’s dream legacy and support Mayor Duterte as the next President of the Philippines.

    14. We have been used to a UNITARY form of government, we should stick to it and improve from it rather than drastically experiment on a Federal form.. A federal form is more prone to dismembering our tiny country leading to what we call Balkanization or similar to the idea of the BBL. A Unitary form of government is what is suited for a tiny country like ours. We should strive to attain what we call “Isang Bansa Isang Diwa” and exert more effort for assimilation like what america did to the Indians and many nationalities that immigrated into the United States. The call it rainbow society.

      • the point is if you will grant milf autonomy, you should also grant that to other regions as well. otherwise scrap bbl. why would milf get what they want just because they use violent force? what about the other more peaceful regions that also wants reforms?

    15. sonny dela cruz on

      Now, you’re talking on the right direction for a lasting peace not only in Mindanao but throughout the entire Philippines from Sparatly Islands to the Sabah archipelago. The Philippines should adopt the Federal system of government by uniting the regions of different cultural lines. Right now we have more or less 14 Regions plus the autonomous government of Cordilleras and the Autonomunous region of Mindanao. Each regions and the two Autonomous government will be represented by two Senators in the congress. The head of each regions will be represented by a Governor and each regions will have their own Assembly that will makes laws for their regions. Each regions may have different laws but will not conflict with the laws of the Federal government. That’s how simple it will be. But the problem right now is the meddling of MALAYSIA who is pushing the MILF to breakaway from the Republic of the Philippines. Too bad that the present President of the Philippines is not patriotic and love of the Philippines, I guess he is not intellegent enough to understand that he is being manipulated by the people around him. Once a new government is established, be sure the people around the President right now should not be spare of the prosecution and has to be brought to justice, that includes FERRER & DELES. I hope the Filipino people will understand that what we are saying is, lets have a lasting peace in the Philippines.

    16. Pagkatapos ng bigong pagpababa ng NTC kay Aquino!Ngayon kampi naman sila kay duterte!sino ba ang gumagastos sa paglibot-libot sa buong pilipinas ni duterte?
      Ethnic at religious cleansing,ikaw mismo ang nagsabi kung ano ang ginawa ng gobyerno noon!!at ito ay ayaw mong gawin nila o ginagamit mo lang panakot!
      Kahit walang BBL,walang mawawala sa kanila,dahil ang katotohanan Sila ang nasusunod at maykontrol ng lugar nila,kahabag-habag lang ang sundalo natin,dahil namamatay sila ng ganoon-ganoon lang,at walang pagbabago hanggang ngayon!parang langaw lang ang tingin ng gobyerno sa kanila!
      Ano ang napapala natin sa paulit-ulit na pangyayari!
      Hawak at sakop natin ang lugar na ito sa papel at constitution pero ang realidad hindi tayo nakakaapak sa lupang sakop nila!
      Sa mga nagmamatalino masdan ninyo ang realidad!
      Tama lang na panagutin ang mga pumatay sa SAF lalo na si Aquino!
      Pero wag natin idamay ang lahat na totoong naghahanap ng kapayapaan!
      Wag na nating gamitin ang ibang bansa para lang masabing tama kayo!

      • Baliktad po, as stated in the article, it is Duterte who shares the same stand as Tatad. Matagal na pong proposal ang federalism which happens to be advocated by Duterte now.

        Ang bottomline po is that we have a flawed Constitution that was hastily finished because of a political crisis. And the congress, instead na irectify whatever initial loopholes pang naiwan ng first draft ng constitution e pinagsasamantalahan pa nila. Which is the same reason kung bakit wala pa rin tayong anti dynasti law kahit pang sabihin natin na labag ito sa ating saligang batas.

    17. I totally agree with you. We need a system that can accommodate the different regional groupings, but definitely under one constitution. This BBL does not even take into consideration the Christians and Lumads and those from other denominations, who live in those areas and who will fall under under Sharia Law if this BBL is passed! Good God. What is happening to the country?
      Let us amend the constitution, utilizing expert members of a constitutional convention, and not the porky personalities in our current Congress to introduce the relevant amendments to change the form of government, so that what we can have federal states instead. We also need a system that makes it easier to remove a silly, idiotic or treasonous president, by a vote of no confidence, without having to hold an election, so that the country and people are not kept hostage waiting for the next election. Enough already, to these wasteful years of lost opportunities and resources.! .