“The last time I was here, on October 14, 2017, you asked me to talk about Charter Change and the threats to our democracy. Today we are still on the same subject, with added context (1) the video you have just seen of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Epimacio Densing III advocating a revolutionary government (RevGov) as a political transition to a federal- parliamentary system; and (2) the PDP-Laban Federal Constitution briefly mentioned last October 14, in relation to the justification for that shift.” ( Atty. Christian S. Monsod, “Democracy and Duterte”, John J. Caroll Institute on Church and Social Issues, Atene de Manila University, Quezon City, November 18, 2017)
The quoted title for this article was from that forum of the John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City last November 18, 2017. Atty. Monsod was the speaker during that event.
Atty. Monsod’s Proposition in said forum was that “we have so far failed in human development not because of the (1987) Constitution, but because we have not fully implemented specifically its provisions on social justice and human rights and on local autonomy. The (1987) Constitution is not the problem, it is part of the solution.” Oh come on Sir, while Congress is indeed remised in its duty to implement many of the good provisions of our present Constitution, you must admit that our 1987 Fundamental Law is really flawed, unresponsive and oppressive that badly needs revision soonest.
Furthermore, President Corazon C. Aquino and her son Pnoy ruled our country for more than a decade with Atty. Monsod as one of their trusted advisers. Why did not they during that time influence Congress to fully implement specifically Cory Constitution’s “provision on social justice and human rights and on local autonomy” as Monsod wanted it done? Clearly the three of them were equally remised to do their duty to our country. Di ba?
For the information of our reading public, Atty. Monsod was one of the Commissioners of the 1986 Constitutional Commission of President Cory which drafted our 1987 Charter. If I’m not mistaken, he once said that “we can only change Cory’s Constitution over his dead body.
Let’s tackle the first issue of that forum which is whether we need Duterte’s Federalism. To us Federalists, this question was already resolved last 2016 Presidential elections. Candidate Duterte whose main platform was Change , the mother of which is the shift to a Federal System, won the Presidency with a very wide margin. No other presidential candidate then was for Federalism. Thus, Yes to Duterte means Yes to Federalism to liberate our people and save our nation.
Admittedly, as of this writing per info, only about 40 percent of the Filipinos know the basics of Federalism. That’s why President Duterte ordered his cabinet members tasked to educate our people on this issue to triple their efforts on this regard. Volunteer Federalism advocates are also doing the same so that by 2019 much more Filipinos will be given basic information on what is a Federal System and the benefits it can offer to our people especially those in our countryside.
Lend me your eyes on this. Per Atty. Monsod,” THERE IS PERSUASIVE IGNORANCE OF IT (Cory’s Constitution). ABOUT 73 PERCENT OF OUR PEOPLE ADMIT NOT KNOWING ANYTING ABOUT THE (1987) CONBSTITUTION.” And yet this was rushed by them for our people’s approval. On the other hand, if about 51 percent of our people by 2019 will know the basics of a federal System, then DAPAT GO NA TAYO RITO! DI BA?
President Corazon C. Aquino pushed her Unitary- Presidential Constitution with only 27 percent knowing about it. Obviously, logic dictates that with 51 percent (or even a little lesser) of our people knowing about that Federal Parliamentary Government then LET’S GO FOR IT! No more ifs or buts on this. Kaya Kilos Kapatid! KKK tayo!
Sana hindi na nga natin kailangan ang isang Revolutionary Government established in a DEMOCRATIC WAY to have a Federal-Parliamentary Constitution. But if our Congress will sit as a Constituent-Assembly to draft our Federal-Parliamentary Constitution, it will be facing two formidable problems.
These are: 1. The Senate cannot get the needed three-fourths votes to pass a draft Charter for the approval of our people in say May,2019; and Congress Federal-Parliamentary Model seems wanting. Atty. Monsod clearly observed “that the PDP-Laban draft federal constitution, which does not contemplate such a transition, but may be a more serious problem than a RevGov because it changes the central theme of our social justice to the agenda of business interests. (Thus, this will not) correct centuries of injustice to the poor, much of it from the business sector – a task which has yet to be completed…..” The right thing to do is to balance social and economic concerns. In addition to this, we are also frightened how our country will be fragmentized by so many proposed poor Federal States/ Regions which will be subsidized, hence, promoting mendicancy and even “political fiefdoms”.
It is for this very reason that a RevGov in a democratic way becomes imperative or very necessary mainly for honest to goodness Constitutional Reform to be drafted by carefully selected 50 wise Filipinos with known integrity. They should compose the Constitutional Commission to be created by President Duterte to do that task. No politician here please.
Back to the query: Do we need Duterte’s Federalism and Revolutionary Government?” After pondering on the pros and cons of this issue, we say: “A big YES for the good of our nation and our people.”