Unresolved resolutions PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 June 2017 12:03

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Jose, CA — I recall writing about El Presidente’s resolve to change the Philippines’ system of government, from the present one to federalism. If that political design is still a paramount priority, when will El Presidente push for the proposal to amend the 1987 Cory-tailored constitution crafted by 50 Liberal-minded, irrepressible and brilliant individuals, that included a Jesuit, and replaced by a constitution with a federal system of government?

Will a new constitution and an untested federal system of government stop corruption, end terrorism, improve EDSA’s horrific traffic, enhance air and sea movements, minimize poverty, create job opportunities, correct the impotence of our labor laws to favor state workers, erase drug trafficking, and improve trade and diplomatic relations with other countries?

First, the Filipinos — the more than 16 million who voted for El Presidente and the 21 million or so who didn’t and the millions who didn’t vote at all — should be informed what federalism is all about in the light of an ambiguous long-sought agenda to create an enhanced autonomous region, or state, for Filipino-Muslims. This proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, crafted during the incumbency of Benigno Aquino III, has been frozen for nearly two years now. Reports have it that the refined version of the original BBL proposal will be resubmitted to congress on the third week of this month. But this is another story to tell.

El Presidente appears to be the man who can reconcile political contradictions, religious conflicts, sexual differences, class struggles and racial prejudices (if any). That’s because he is feared! Our Cory-inspired constitution replaced the Marcosian Law of the land. Is El Presidente’s resolve, as is the Pimentels, to have a new constitution founded on federalism the anti-dote to corruption, despicable bureaucracy and government indecency such as being outrageously displayed by government functionaries?

Second: The information departments in Malacanang and Davao and the congressional think-tanks should start going around the country to TRY to explain (and convince the people) what federalism is all about. Even the oldies are calling for a change in our governing system, an untested dominion, as if that is the only answer to our escalating woes and rising miseries.

I have consistently prodded: what model shall we pattern our federal system of government from? Great Britain, France, Malaysia, Canada, the United States? Or, shall we have our own unique, Pimentel-style federal system of government to fit our multi-faceted culture? Ferdinand E. Marcos created his version of the presidential-parliamentary form of government and installed finance genius Cesar Virata as the first prime minister. It didn’t last.

On another subject matter: With the declaration of the state of Martial Law in Mindanao, will the military and police be able to contain the wicked forces of the deadly Maute Group, extinguish them completely and guarantee a safer Mindanao from increasing terrorism? Will El Presidente, as he so vowed, be able to exterminate the drug lords and politicians allegedly funding the Maute Group?

Rewind: Has justice been served for the 14 people who died in the deadly bomb attack in a Davao night market? Has reparations been made to the victims’ families and for the more than 60 who were wounded in that same treacherous attack that darkened a city priding to be one of the safest cities in the world?

How about the September 9, 2013 attack on Zamboanga city — although it happened not in El Presidente’s time — that was more horrible and economically devastating than both Marawi and Davao incidents? What of the lives that were lost there?

Mr. President, is federalism the answer to our misfortunes, hardships and violent ordeals? If so, go ahead with it. Will it mitigate the afflictions of the poor, relieve the dolor of the destitute now living in transitory sites after they fled from the barbaric hands of terrorists, shelter the homeless mendicants, many of them young boys and girls, mooching their way in crowded places for a peso or left-over Jollibee grub? If the answer is YES, go ahead with it. And may God be with you.