Ex-Duterte Cabinet men restart drive for federalism

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Ex-Duterte Cabinet men restart drive for federalism
Former president Rodrigo Duterte appears in Sen. Bong Go’s Facebook Live yesterday amid videos circulating on social media that he has already died. Go said Duterte is ‘alive and kicking,’ spending most of the time at home.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A group of former officials during the Duterte administration and members of the academe restarted a federalism campaign to push for amendments to the 1987 Constitution through constitutional convention (con-con).

Former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Greco Belgica, former senator Gregorio Honasan, retired generals Carlos Quita and Fortunato Guerrero, lawyer Eduardo Bringas, Bishops Butch Belgica, Reuben Abante, Dennis Reyes and Froilan Calilung as well as former Quezon City representative Mike
 Defensor formed the Pilipino Tayo Movement as they pushed for Charter change through con-con.

The group endorsed former president Rodrigo Duterte, former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, First Lady Liza Marcos and former vice president Leni Robredo to lead the con-con delegates.

“First, the Constitution we are following now is expensive. Second, it generates a very unstable political environment. Third, because of the limited three-year term (of elected lawmakers and local government officials), it affects the predictability which is one of the causes of instability,” Honasan said.

Honasan added that he already proposed to Duterte during his stint as president the revision of the 1987 Charter through con-con.

“That’s what I told him (but) that was his call… There were initiatives (for Charter change) but apparently were not high in the priorities,” said the former secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology during the time of Duterte.

For his part, Belgica asked President Marcos to make a categorical position on Charter change.

“President Marcos, is the chairman of the Partido Federal, a party that is founded on the very idea of federalism. You cannot change to federalism without changing the Constitution. President Marcos should clarify his position on federalism and con-con as his opinion will affect the decisions of our lawmakers and the Philippines,” Belgica said.

The group also pushed to include as delegates former president Joseph Estrada, former chief justice Antonio Carpio, former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile, business tycoon Ramon Ang and Sen. Robinhood Padilla.

“We chose the delegates based on their influence on the government. We also use as a basis their stand on issues,” he added.

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