Federalism and the rebels

>> Monday, May 30, 2016

March Fianza

Even while former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., PDP-Laban Founder and his son Koko said that those who wish to join the party should at least be supporters of Federalism, many of our congressmen and senators are more inclined to “jump ship” for survival, not for espousing President-elect Duterte’s aspiration to decentralize the powers in Malacanang.
Understandably, the welfare of a provincial district under a congress representative is first and foremost consideration than party affiliation which comes next. If you ask the experts, they will say that politicians in the Philippines do not seriously belong to party systems as politicians time and again transfer from one party to another.
In short, the country does not have a serious party system because parties in the Philippines are loose alliances that usually ignore ideologies since they are based on personalities, not on issues. As this article goes to press, politicians are now busy negotiating for their transfer to PDP-Laban.
That is the catch. In exchange for the usual comfort that administration politicians get, what is important to the new dispensation is to form a majority in the senate and lower house that will help Duterte’s “administration for change”.
It is also a different political scenario this time. Founded in 1982 by Nene Pimentel, the PDP-Laban is pushing for Federalism. Ka Nene is known as one who fights on the floor for his proposals. The more questions are fielded, the more he likes it because he knows that by being able to parry all the questions, his measure will pass.
Take for example his fight to have the Local Government Code of 1991 signed into law. Although, the law does not offer all the powers to LGUs today, there are enough provisions that help them survive. The elder Pimentel believes that Federalism can strengthen the local government code and will empower more the LGUs.
Every concerned politician knows that the country today exists under a centralized form of government where the central government in Imperial Manila controls the most power and resources. Leaders, especially those in the Visayas and Mindanao gladly want this revised since they and their constituents are the most affected in terms of sharing the national wealth.
Federalism, according to those who support the idea, is seen as the best political tool for the “all-out search for peace” in Mindanao and the rest of the country that can be employed with the help of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front and other ideological organizations.
Duterte and PDP-Laban want a change in government-style in the Philippines. They believe that Federalism will solve the peace and order problem in Mindanao. It is the country’s island group that has been troubled by a four-decade on and off Muslim conflict.
With “change” in mind, Duterte seemingly agitated the nerves of common officials and communist leaders after announcing that he was offering public positions to the latter. This is not the first time that the public saw Duterte’s extreme moves and comments as he has shown these on and off stage during the campaign. I think we better get used to our new President.
  The posts that were offered to communist leaders were secretary for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
I agree that before these posts are again occupied by “NPAs”, I mean the “Non-Performing Assets”, let these positions be headed by the real NPAs or left leaning friends, including the posts for regional directors. By putting a director of their kind, they might also stop marching down Session Road.
I read somewhere that Luis Jalandoni, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front said that the Communist Party of the Philippines and NDF has already prepared a list of nominees to the positions because Duterte’s offer “shows his trust and confidence in the CPP, NPA and the NDF”.
If only we were given the opportunity to recommend, I know of some people from the left in the Cordillera who are really fit for the open positions. I wish these friends get the right connections to President Duterte.  
But as to laying down their arms, our friends in the mountains will surely think twice. Their move will depend on the results of a soon to be reopened peace negotiations between the two parties. That, we have to wait and see.
Happy sixth year Birthday to Ponzee.


  © Blogger templates Palm by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics