Beng hit on Duterte’s federalism stance PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 February 2016 14:01

The camp of  presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday emphasized that it is “entirely wrong” to say that a Duterte presidency will give Western Mindanao to Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

In a statement, Duterte’s spokes Peter Laviña said Zamboanga Peninsula, and most especially Zamboanga City, will never be part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) or the areas specified under the shelved Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“We are sorry that Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco -Salazar is getting it all wrong. She is obviously misinformed,” Laviña said.

Laviña expained that Federalism is still a proposal and it hopes to address the over concentration of power and resources in the national government and the neglect of the various regions vital role in their own development.

He said Duterte advocates federalism also to address the Mindanao question where the various Muslim tribes seek greater self-rule.

“He (Duterte)  believes we need to correct the historical wrongs done on our Muslims and other indigenous peoples by our colonial masters and dominantly Christians central governments, “ the spokesman said.

Under the federal set up, there are ideas to create two federal states to replace the current Autonomous region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). One is for the Muslim tribes in the mainland of Mindanao, composed mostly of the Maguindanaons, Maranaws and Iranons. The other federal state is for the Muslim island tribes in the Sulu Seas, namely, for the Tausugs in Jolo, Yakans and Badjaosand other tribes in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Other regions throughout the country will have their own federal states as well, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Cordilleras as well as the National Capital Region.

This proposal, Laviña said, needs to go through a national consensus and shall be enshrined in a new Federal Constitution. Hence, it will undergo a democratic process of electing delegates to the constitutional convention, convening the delegates for the new Charter, holding of public consultations, and presenting the new Federal Constitution in a people’s plebiscite.

Laviña stressed that Zamboanga City is not part of any proposed federal states for Muslims in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

“We do not know where Climaco-Salazar, who belongs to the administration party, is getting this wrong notion. Instead of promoting harmony for our people, coming from different tribes and religious background, this cheap propaganda against Duterte is creating a wedge among our people,” the spokesperson chides.

“Those involved in the Zamboanga siege are now facing various charges in court. Let the wheels of justice take its course. If anyone sows violence in Zamboanga City, be they Christians or Muslims, let the full force of the law then deal with them,” Laviña said.

He added: “The trouble with our country today is our lack of regard of the law, with the rich and the powerful and the outlaws making a mockery of it.

Duterte has been advocating for respect for the law and equality before the law as well as harmony in spite of our diversity precisely to make Davao, and the rest of the country, safe from such violent extremism. We should promote greater tolerance and respect for different cultures, different religions, different political beliefs if we are to succeed in our nation-building. Federalism is key to this vision with power-sharing, resources-sharing, respect-for-all and development-for-all as our guiding principles.”


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2016 14:51