Pushing for federalism in Cebu 1
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2016 - 12:00am

The headline of the Philippine STAR last Monday blared, “Kill Season on Drug Suspects” sounds very alarming because we already wrote that what could happen in this country where we have so many corrupt policemen who are on the take by drug lords and drug dealers might just result in a bloodbath of grave proportions. When President-elect Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte won the Presidency, he warned the drug lords and dealers and corrupt policemen to start packing up and leave because he would go after them and if necessary, kill these corrupt officers.

Naturally, even the corrupt and the damn have to reckon with their own survival instincts… having the attitude that they would rather go after their former bosses in the illicit drug trade, even to the point of killing them rather than have these drug dealers arrested where they could testify in court that this or that corrupt police officers were their protectors. Hence we’d really like to know whether this recent spate of killings of drug lords could be linked to those corrupt police officers? It could very well be!

Already the media has reported a low ranked police officer who lives in a mansion with a bevy of expensive cars. I’m sure that this fellow isn’t alone in the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP). With President -elect Rodrigo Duterte firming up his cabinet secretaries, I gathered that one Cabinet Secretary intends to put all the employees under his office into a lifestyle check. If you ask me… this is a very wonderful idea… and hopefully no less than President-elect Duterte would require this from all his appointees.

This includes all the branches of government from the Executive branch, the Legislative and the Judiciary. There is nothing like a day of reckoning for all people working in the government to open themselves for any questions regarding their respective lifestyles so that the Duterte administration can start on the right foot.

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One of the campaign promises of President-elect Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is to push for a shift from our current unitary form of government to a federal form of governance which we’ve been writing about. As I already wrote that a month before the May 9 elections, I ambushed interview Mayor Duterte at the back stage of the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City during our annual convention of the Federation of Motorcycle Clubs. I asked him what was his timetable for this shift into a federal form of government and he told me that he would create a committee to educate our people about federalism and in six months, call for Charter change.

Well, Mayor Duterte hasn’t even taken his oath as President, but his loyal supporters are already pushing for this up and coming shift to Federalize the Philippines. Indeed we live in exciting times. Last Monday afternoon, I was honored to interview the Father of Federalism in the Philippines, former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. in my TV talk show on “Straight from the Sky” and I gave him my personal commitment to have MyTV channel 30 which is aired in Metro Cebu through SkyCable and in the Parasat Cable in Northern Mindanao as the TV station having a federalism hour in order to help educate our people about the need for this shift to a federal system of government.

The next day, Tuesday morning, the Madrid Room at the Casino Español was jampacked with people to attend the forum on federalism, which was sponsored by the Veloso Foundation, headed by my good friend, Antonio V. Osmeña. I was on the table with the ever-young looking Ms. Minnie Osmeña who told us that it was she who gave the number of former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. to Cordova Vice-Mayor Adelino Sitoy who was the master of ceremonies for the event. Also on our table was former Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña.

Federalism is a concept that Germany embraced after the ashes of the thousand year Reich of Adolf Hitler. Before it embraced Federalism, it had the very weak Weimar government, which was taken over by the Nazi’s that turned Europe into a bloody hell. Today’s thanks to its Federal concept, Germany is Europe’s leading economy and has a very stable government. If it worked in war-torn Germany after its cities were devastated in World War II, I don’t see any reason why Federalism won’t work in the Philippines.

Of course we don’t expect that it would be an easy shift from our present unitary form of government and into a Federal form of government simply because those who wield political power today under our present unitary form of government wants to keep the status quo. Worse are the people who mislead us that Federalism would lead to warlordism as espoused by the couple, Christian and Solita Monsod. This was answered by Nene Pimentel that our present system today has created warlords from political dynasties. But in America which has a federal system. They have no warlords. Touché!

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.


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