Palace backs Senate Resolution No. 10 calling for federalization of the Republic
Manila (13 August) -- Malacanang yesterday threw its full support behind Senate Resolution No. 10 calling for the convening of Congress into a constituent assembly to revise the Constitution and pave the way for the adoption of a Federal System of government.
Press Secretary Jesus Dureza told members of the media yesterday afternoon that insofar as Malacanang is concerned, "it's all systems go" for Senate Resolution No. 10, entitled, "Joint resolution to convene the Congress into a Constituent Assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to establish a Federal System of Government."
Dureza made the statement to debunk claims by administration critics that the proposed Federal System of government is intended to prolong President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's hold on power.
As shown by the Senate proposal, it's not only the President who believes that the shift to a federal system would bring about lasting peace in Mindanao, Dureza pointed out.
Principally authored by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., 11 other senators, including Senate President Manuel Villar, have co-authored the resolution which stressed that "the federalization of the Republic would speed up the development of the entire nation and help dissipate the causes of the insurgency throughout the land, particularly, the centuries-old rebellions."
"We are very supportive of this particular Joint Resolution No. 10," Dureza said, adding that he was informed that four more senators are in favor of the proposal, bringing to 16 the number of senators who are all for the shift in the system of government.
In the explanatory note of Resolution No. 10, the proponents of the measure noted that under the present system of government as mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the "country's development programs are centrally determined, planned, funded and implemented by the national government in Manila."
This "concentration of such enormous powers in Manila has created only one center of finance and development in the country resulting in a highly centralized system of government," they pointed out.
The resolution also states that "the highly centralized system of government has brought about a spotty development of the nation where preferred treatment has been given to localities whose officials are friendly with or have easy access to an incumbent administration.
"This lopsided arrangement has spawned a host of problems including massive nationwide poverty to runaway insurgencies and rebellions that feed on the societal inequalities in the nation," further stressed the Senate resolution that hopes to create 11 states out of the Philippine republic to "establish 11 centers of finance and development in the archipelago."
The 11 proposed states are the State of Northern Luzon; State of Central Luzon; State of Southern Tagalog; State of Bicol; State of Minparom (Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon); State of Eastern Visayas; State of central Visayas; State of Western Visayas; State of Northern Mindanao; State of Southern Mindanao; and State of Bangsamoro.
The 11 states are "in addition to the country's only one center of finance and development in Metro Manila which shall be constituted as the Federal Administrative Region."
The resolution said the shift from unitary to federal system of government requires revising the Constitution; and the revision "may be done in either of three ways: Constitutional Convention, Constituent Assembly or by Popular Initiative."
However, "considering all circumstances, it may be most expedient to revise the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly," the resolution said.
Aside from Pimentel and Villar, the other authors of the resolution are Senators Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, and Ramon Revilla Jr. (PIA-MMIO) [top]