TUCP and Bayanko partner for parliamentary federal system
FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2015 - 12:00am

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, the largest group of labor federations in partnership Bayanko, a non-partisan crowdsourcing movement is for a complete overhaul of politics and government in the country.

TUCP has also thrown its hat into the ring in favor of Bayanko’s program for real change through a new constitution that would shift the Philippines from the present presidential system to a unicameral parliamentary federal system.

Here is the partial list of recommandees to the ExCom:

In a telephone interview former Sen. Ernesto ‘Boy’ Herrera, president, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (chairman of the ExCom) said that this the only way the Philippines can achieve prosperity. It would have specific programs to  lift up the poor from the morass of political mismanagement. The organization of the ExCom is ongoing and its program for education for the shift to parliamentary federal government is being prepared and will begin as soon as possible.

Among those being tapped for the Ex-Com are Leonardo Montemayor, president, Federation of Free Farmers; Amb. Roy Seneres, founder, OFW Family Club; Carmen Pedrosa, founder, Bayanko; Milagros Ogalinda, secretary-general, National Alliance of Teachers & Office Workers; Florencia Cabatingan, chairperson, Development Action for Women; Susanita Tesiorna, president, Alliance of Workers in the Informal Economy/Sector (ALLWIES) and Jose Alejandrino, adviser, Bayanko. This is only a partial list as other federations and unions are coming in with their own candidates for the Ex-Com.

Being recommended to head the constitutional panel is former Chief Justice Reynato Puno who has accepted to form its panel of constitutional experts.

Herrera agrees with Bayanko that a federal system for the country is of utmost importance especially with the turn of events since the Mamasapano massacre.

The Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry that investigated the events that led to the massacre implicitly blames President Benigno Aquino. As Commander in chief of the Armed Forces, he approved the secret mission against the Muslim rebels that led to the deaths of 44 police commandos the report said.

The Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry (BOI) report blamed Aquino for having authorized suspended police general Alan Purisima, a personal friend, to the mission even if he was being investigated for corruption.

Herrera will also meet with Senator Nene Pimentel and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who are staunch defenders of a federal system for the Philippines. The TUCP in partnership with Bayanko will strongly resist any attempt to dismember the country through the BBL now pending in Congress.

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As expected Cardinal Tagle refused to be drawn into calls for “resign P-Noy” or “oust P-Noy.” He was attacked for not taking up the cause of those asking P-Noy to resign.  This column agrees with the stance that the Cardinal has taken.  I have been into political rabble rousing myself in the past and learned hard lessons. It is not enough to rabble rouse. It must be followed by concrete measures of what comes after with a vision and a long-term program for good government.

Indeed a corrupt government or offenders of good governance will be periodically monitored under the new parliamentary federal system.

Bayanko has a strategy in place. We believe there are other ways of protest and certainly the technology is available to allow a sustained citizen check on government.

?The Cardinal was recently appointed by Pope Francis as the new president of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF).

CBCP announced the Vatican appointment last March 5.

He was also elected head the Catholic fellowship of international and local organizations committed to the Biblical-pastoral ministry last October 2014.

Cardinal Tagle believes we should focus on strengthening our institutions. Bayanko agrees with the Cardinal.

 “To strengthen institutions, we propose to bring together labor and business to work for a common goal. To strengthen institutions, we propose to give a bigger voice to the marginalized sectors of society. To strengthen institutions, we propose to dismantle the hold of the oligarchy and family dynasties over the political system. To strengthen institutions, we propose to shift to a parliamentary federal system to rid the country of a rotten form of presidential government.”

Cardinal Tagle is aware of our intentions. To a large degree, the church shares our goals. As we told him, we want a peaceful and orderly transition to a new constitutional order.

*      *      *

Some members of Bayanko who are not happy with President Aquino have expressed their impatience at the pace Bayanko is moving so this column is publishing the work it has done.

Since Bayanko was formed at the end of July 2014 its membership has grown from 300 to over 4,200.

It has signed partnership agreements with large federations and groups composed of labor, including OFWs, farmers, women, and other marginalized sectors of society that count in the millions. Former Sen. Ernesto Herrera, president of the TUCP, committed their group, which is the biggest in the country, fully behind Bayanko in its crusade for constitutional change.

Moreover, Bayanko made presentations and held dialogues with the 8,500-strong Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association and with the Council of the Laity which is the civilian arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. It continues to hold dialogues with other groups and soon it hopes to announce one of the biggest federations of the business community to join the movement.

Among those who have endorsed Bayanko are former President Fidel V Ramos, Chief Justice Reynato Puno, and even celebrities like Nora Aunor.

Bayanko has distributed its complete proposal for a new Constitution for a parliamentary federal system. It has a total of 124 articles. It has come to an understanding with CJ Reynato Puno on the formation of a constitutional panel to review all proposals.

It has not called for the resignation of President Aquino because we want to leave the door open to dialogue. We have said replacing the president with a vice president who is perceived to be corrupt is merely trading one problem for another.

Strategy is a matter of timing. When the right time comes, everything will fall into place. Bayanko adviser Jose Alejandrino’s proposed constitution for parliamentary federal government has a simple format and language so more Filipinos can read and understand it. It will then go to the drafting panel headed by Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno for debate and made ready for a referendum.


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