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The time to shift to a parliamentary gov’t

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

I did not realize that last Tuesday was the last session day in the Philippine Senate and it was the time we heard on TV news that six outgoing senators made their farewell speeches to their colleagues. They were senators Gregorio Honasan, who spent 21 years in the Senate; Bam Aquino, who lost his re-election bid; JV Ejercito, who almost made the Magic Twelve; Francis Escudero, who also had 12 years as senator but will now take on his new role as governor of Sorsogon; Loren Legarda, who now moves to Congress representing the lone district of Antique; and Antonio Trillanes, who didn’t make a speech at all. Thanks for that.

Thinking aloud, Sen. Trillanes did not make any valedictory speech because he had another meeting to attend. What a useless excuse. The truth of the matter is every time Sen. Trillanes opens his mouth, it is nine times out of 10 a speech attacking Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. But his latest caper with the arrested Bikoy has caught him flatfooted, so I guess he had nothing more to say against Pres. Duterte, hence he didn’t make any speech anymore!

* * *

Reelected Leyte congressman Martin Romualdez is a very strong candidate to be the next House Speaker for the 18th Congress when it convenes this coming July 1 and he has sort of promised to pursue the waylaid bill on federalism saying “We will keep our dedication, commitment, passion and the flame burning in pursuing federalism until we reap the real benefits of genuine constitutional reforms for our children and the succeeding generations.”

A federalism bill was approved during the 17th Congress, however it was shelved at the Senate, which could be the reason why Pres. Duterte wants a Constitutional change and remove the Senate in the new Constitution. As Rep. Romualdez pointed out “the federalism advocacy of President Duterte is a golden opportunity to unlock the doors of peace, progress and prosperity of the country and the people.” Indeed the political Aquino family and their loyal yellowtards are against charter changes simply because they don’t want to change the 1987 Constitution named after their mother the late president Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

This is why I propose that in the new or next constitution, there should be a provision to put reforms in the new Constitution every ten years in order to assure the Filipino people that our charter would always be open to new ideas, rather than a few political families putting it under lock and key. This is why I’m proposing for a shift to a parliamentary and federal form of government. Just to help our readers, here is the list of the top 20 best governed countries in 2018.

1.) Finland                           11.) United Kingdom

2.) New Zealand                12.) Australia

3.) Norway                          13.) Iceland

4.) Switzerland                  14.) Ireland

5.) Netherlands                15.) Austria

6.) Sweden                         16.) Belgium

7.) Luxembourg                17.) Japan

8.) Canada                           18.) Singapore

9.) Denmark                       19.) United States

10.) Germany                     20.) Estonia

In this top 20 list, all except the United States are parliamentary, we all know that the US has a presidential/federal form of government. Sure, we already tried a parliamentary form of government in the 1973 Constitution, but then Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos wanted to keep his power and installed Cesar Virata as our prime minister without any powers and Marcos kept all the powers of the government to himself. We should undo the wrong things that Marcos did and start anew and join the group of the best governed countries in the world through a parliamentary system.

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The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council will ask the Commission on Audit to allow the use of P5 million from the Task Force Bangon Marawi budget for the Islamic pilgrimage of Marawi siege victims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Now didn’t the Red Cross just announce that the effort to rebuild Marawi was “painfully slow”? So why give funding to a pilgrimage or hajj?

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