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Federal shift gets big boost

SUPPORTERS of President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposed federalism form of government will actively campaign for the proposed Charter Change by holding city-wide rallies as an initial step to win over public support toward the shift to a federal form of government.

IConform Federal convenor lawyer Raul Lambino said they would soon hold rallies in different cities in Metro Manila to educate the people on what federalism was about.

“The shift to a federal form is about making the lives of millions of Filipinos better,” Lambino said as his group held a rally at Quezon Memorial Circle, in Quezon City and attended by what supporters called an estimated 25,000 crowd.

Lambino, a known ally of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,  and President Duterte’s appointee as administrator and chief executive officer of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, said “now is the time to push for a review of the 1987 Constitution and make way for a shift to a federal form of goverment...We can no longer delay its coming.” 

FORCIBLE FIST. Delegates—by supporters’ estimate well beyond 20,000—gather Saturday at the Quezon Memorial Circle to push for a federal form of government, with Iconform-Federal Philippines and a coalition for multisectoral groups headed by Cagayan Export Zone Authority Secretary Raul Lambino, attended by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and other local government officials. Manny Palmero

He stressed the change in the present form of government would correct the “historical inequities and injustice that have been perpetuated in a unitary and highly centralized government.”

“It is because our entire experience with a highly centralized system has created two nations in our country—a nation of the ‘haves,’ which is the super-rich tip of the economic pyramid, and a nation of the ‘have-nots,’ which is its impoverished base that has suffered from decades of government inaction and neglect,” said Lambino.

Lambino also commended efforts of the leadership of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to push for federalism.

Alvarez said the House would pass the proposed shift to a parliamentary form of government, along with the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law before the year ends.

Alvarez said the House would have to wait for the proposed amendments to be submitted by the 25-man Consultative Commission even as lawmakers will have to study it together with the proposed amendments crafted by the House committee on constitutional amendments. 

“We will also wait for their [Consultative Commission] input so we will be able to cover all and consider all inputs,” said Alvarez.

Duterte has appointed former Chief Justice Reynato Puno as  head of the consultative committee that will review the 1987 Constitution.

The President also appointed 18 members of the 25-man committee, including former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., retired Supreme Court justices Antonio Eduardo Nachura and Bienvenido Reyes, and former Kalinga Rep. Laurence Wacnang. 

Alvarez said Duterte would still lead the government during the transition period since his term would end in  2022.

Topics: Federal shift gets big boost , charter change

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