COMMENTARY: The Foundational Framework of Federalism

QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/11 September) &'8212; Many federalism advocates were expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to push even harder for federalism in his second State of the Nation Address. But the President could only say that this matter is something “we have to tackle sooner or later.” That time has come given that the members of his [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanews mindanewsSep 11th, 2017

COMMENTARY: The Foundational Framework of Federalism

QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/11 September) &'8212; Many federalism advocates were expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to push even harder for federalism in his second State of the Nation Address. But the President could only say that this matter is something “we have to tackle sooner or later.” That time has come given that the members of his [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsSep 11th, 2017

Dismantling Imperial Manila is the goal

THERE is no contention that our country’s fundamental problem is the over-concentration of power and wealth in Imperial Manila. And both sides of the federalism debate agree that the only way to break its domination is to establish a robust decentralized governance framework. Empowering local government, both in fiscal and administrative terms, is an undeniable […] The post Dismantling Imperial Manila is the goal appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Goodbye BBL, Hello Federalism

COTABATO CITY – For the third time around, majority Christian lawmakers in the House of Representatives are expected to reject the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL being pushed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014. Instead of BBL, lawmakers are now pushing for a federal form of government and President Rodrigo Duterte is also strongly advocating the shift to federalism, an advocacy he made even before when he was the mayor of Davao City. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque also said Duterte’s priority now is to change the form of current government and this can only be achieved through amendments in the Constitution which lawmakers are currently working on. There was also a proposal to hold a plebiscite next year in time for the mid-term elections for Filipinos to decide whether to accept or reject federalism. But there are also many lawmakers who wanted to cling to power and extend their term of office until 2022 when voters would have to choose their leaders in national elections. BBL Duterte has previously backed the BBL and expressed optimism that the draft law will pass the scrutiny of Congress that previously opposed it – during Arroyo and Aquino’s presidency. But Duterte himself has been campaigning for BBL and federalism even before he won the presidency in 2016. And his political allies in Congress are supporting the proposed shift from the current presidential system to federalism, and not the BBL. The MILF, whose ageing leaders, called for the passage of BBL may be overridden by Duterte’s plans to grant regions autonomy through federalism. It said the administration of Duterte should immediately work for the passage of the BBL where the Aquino government left off. It stressed that the negotiation is completed following the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the MILF and government peace panels. Politicians questioning the BBL said the provisions in the draft law remain the same.  Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat, who was one of those who opposed the BBL during the Aquino administration citing unconstitutional provisions in the draft law, is again raising the same issue. Unconstitutional In a previous statement, Lobregat made it clear, he will be vigilant and consistent with his stand with regards to the BBL. “I am for peace, I am not anti-peace, but we need a Bangsamoro Basic Law that is just, that is fair, that is acceptable, feasible and more importantly, it should not be contrary to the Constitution and existing laws,” he said. He said the BBL which the Bangsamoro Transition Commission submitted to Duterte still contains the same and even more contentious and questionable provisions. “Among the contentious provisions in the present version of the BBL is that there will be six plebiscites – one for ratification of the law, and second the periodic plebiscite every 5 years for a period of 25 years in the cities, municipalities and other geographic areas outside the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which did not join the Bangsamoro after the ratification of the BBL,” Lobregat said. Lobregat, who was also former mayor of Zamboanga City, said Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was the predecessor of the old BBL filed during the previous 16th Congress. The MOA-AD was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2008 describing the process that led to its crafting as “whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic.” He said the MOA-AD and the BBL have similar provisions, with some unconstitutional and controversial provisions. “Instead of promoting peace, there will be a constant tug of war on the political boundaries that will promote instability. The Bangsamoro will try to expand its area of jurisdiction and in turn, the local government adjacent, surrounding or neighboring the Bangsamoro will also fight tooth and nail in order to retain their territory,” Lobregat said. Lobregat said he will again be active and vigilant in the committee deliberations, plenary debates and caucuses to ensure that the interest of Zamboanga City and the rest of Mindanao are protected. Davao del Norte Representative and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte’s ally in the lower chamber, said the country’s push for federalism has almost the same concept of the BBL. “The BBL will be absorbed by the federal form of government, because that’s the same. The concept of BBL is the same in federal form of government,” he said, suggesting an amendment in the Constitution. “How can you implement the provisions of the BBL without amending the Constitution? You cannot do it because there are provisions in the BBL that run contrary to the provisions of the Constitution,” said Alvarez. MILF’s rival group, the Moro National Liberation Front under Nur Misuari, has strongly opposed the government peace talks with the MILF, citing a 1996 peace accord with Manila. And Misuari, who eventually became government of the Muslim autonomous region, is now facing rebellion charges for deadly attacks in Sulu’s Jolo town and in Zamboanga City in 2001; and another raid in 2013 in retaliation to government’s failure to fully comply with the peace agreement. Under the accord, Manila would have provided a mini-marshal plan in the restive region and livelihood and housing facilities for thousands of MNLF rebels. Misuari, a close friend and political ally of Duterte, also wanted to become a perpetual regional governor. He is also […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

COMMENTARY: We can continue electing our officials without antagonizing the process of shifting to federalism

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 07 January) — Experience will tell us that the practice of unitary form of government or the centralization of power does not necessarily work towards self-improvement of each region in the country. Political pundits and legal experts argue that RA 7160 already provides mechanism for Local Government Units to exercise authority […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

BBL, papasa ba sa Kongreso?

MAGUINDANAO – Muling nabuhayan ng loob ang rebeldeng Moro Islamic Liberation Front o MILF matapos ang puspusang pangangampanya ng pamahalaang Duterte na maipasa sa Kongreso ang Bangsamoro Basic Law o BBL.   Matatandaang ibinasura ng Kongreso sa nakaraang administrasyon ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino ang BBL dahil sa mga probisyon nitong labag sa Konstitusyon at ang pagpigil ng ilang mga mambabatas na maipasa ito sa kadahilanang hindi katanggap-tanggap ang mga nakasaad doon.   Sinabi noon ni MILF chieftain Murad Ebrahim na nakahanda silang maghintay sa susunod na administrasyon kung sakaling mabalam ang BBL. Ngunit nilinaw nito na hindi nila tatanggapin ang anumang bersyon ng BBL maliban lamang kung ito ay naaayon sa Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro at Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro na nilagdaan ng pamahalaang Aquino sa rebeldeng grupo.   Nakasalalay ngayon ang buhay ng BBL sa 17th Congress, ngunit halos wala naman nabago sa mga lumang probisyon ng naturang draft law at mas pinalawig pa ito.   Naantala ng husto ang deliberasyon ng BBL sa 16th Congress dahil sa naganap na pagpatay ng mga rebeldeng MILF sa 44 mga miyembro ng Special Action Force o SAF sa bayan ng Mamasapano sa Maguindanao, isa sa limang lalawigan ng Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, noong Enero 2015.   Nasa isang misyon ang SAF na kung saan ay napatay ng mga commandos ang Malaysian bomber na si Marwan na kinakanlong diumano ng MILF – nang sila ay kuyugin ng mga rebelde sa tulong na rin ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.   Dahil sa Mamasapano clash ay maraming grupo at pulitiko ang nanawagan na magbitiw si Aquino at presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles dahil sa kanilang kabiguan na pigilan ang sagupaan at pagpatay sa SAF commandos. Pangamba ngayon ng MILF na kung mabasurang muli ang BBL ay posibleng bumalik sa rebelyon ang mga miyembro nito.   Naunang sinabi ng mga anti-BBL lawmakers na ibabasura nila ang tinatawag an “opt-in” provision na nakapaloob sa BBL na maaaring magamit upang palawigin ang teritoryo ng Bangsamoro na tinututulan ng mga Kristiyanong pulitiko. Maraming mga amendments ang nais gawin ng mga mambabatas sa BBL upang masigurado umanong hindi lalabag sa Konstitusyon ang mga probisyon sa nasabing draft law.   Lumagda ng peace accord ang MILF at pamahalaan noon 2014, ngunit dahil sa naganap na labanan sa Mamasapno ay nabinbin ito at hindi naipasa sa termino ni Aquino, subali’t ipinangako naman ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na gagawin nito ang lahat upang maipasa ang BBL.   Ngunit isinusulong rin ni Duterte ang federalism sa bansa na inaayawan naman ng MILF dahil dapat umanong maisakatuparan muna ang BBL at mapalawig ang Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao bago ang federalism.   Naisumite na ng Bangasamoro Transition Commission ang BBL draft kay Duterte nitong Hulyo lamang. Tutol naman ang Moro National Liberation Front sa BBL ng kalabang MILF.   “The purpose of this Basic Law is to establish a political entity, provide for its basic structure of government in recognition of the justness and legitimacy of the cause of the Bangsamoro people and their aspiration to chart their political future through a democratic process that will secure their identity and posterity and allow for meaningful self-governance,” nakasaad sa BBL draft.   Sa naturang BBLL draft, ang mga sumusunod ay mapapasama sa bagong political entity – ang mga bayan ng Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan at Tangkal sa Lanao del Norte at lahat ng barangay sa Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, at Midsayap na bumuto sa plebisito noon 2001. At ang lungsod ng Cotabato at Isabela, gayun ang mga contiguous areas na kung saan ay maaaring mag petisyon ang 10% ng mga residente doon upang mapasama sa Bangsamoro territory Dalawang buwan bago ang ratipikasyon ng BBL.   Nakasaad rin sa BBL draft ang mga sumusunod sa ilalim ng General Principles and Policies &'' In the exercise of its right to self-determination and self-governance, the Bangsamoro is free to pursue its political, economic, social, and cultural development; the Bangsamoro Government shall be parliamentary. Its political system is democratic, allowing its people to freely participate in the political processes within its territory; the Bangsamoro Government, consistent and suitable to its parliamentary form of government, shall adopt an electoral system which shall allow democratic participation, encourage formation of genuinely principled political parties, and ensure accountability.   At dagdag pa dito ang mga sumusunod: Governance in the Bangsamoro is the responsibility of the duly elected civilian government. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Bangsamoro Government shall promote unity, peace, justice, and goodwill among all peoples, as well as encourage a just and peaceful settlement of disputes. The Bangsamoro abides by the principle that the country renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.   The Bangsamoro shall adhere to the principle of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. The Bangsamoro shall establish a government that ensures that every citizen in the Bangsamoro is provided the basic necessities and equal opportunities in life. Social Justice shall be promoted in all phases of development and facets of life within the Bangsamoro. The Bangsamoro Government shall respect and adhere to all international treaties and agreements which benefited the Bangsamoro Government, bukod sa iba pang mga probisyon na inaayawan ng [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2017

COMMENTARY: Addressing challenges posed by the Abu Sayyaf Group (9): Islamic Framework for Development

Ninth of 10 parts 28 May 2017 In undertaking any development interventions in the areas impacted by the Abu Sayyaf and its affiliated groups, the writer suggests that consideration be given to formulating these interventions within a faith-based framework.  Given the nature of the Islamic faith and the manner in which it permeates all aspects [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsMay 28th, 2017

Opinion: Blueboard -- Anne Lan K. Candelaria, Ph.D.: "On Federalism and multilevel politics"

Federalism has gained unprecedented traction as soon as President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office middle of last year. As a result, policy makers, think tanks as well as the academic community has engaged in a series of dialogues and debates on the operationalization of such form of government, or how best to proceed. However, there are only few discussions on the substantive aspects of federalism. This commentary attempts to discuss the tacit issues that surround this debate......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2017

COMMENTARY: Another lesson from the BBL

MELBOURNE, Australia (MindaNews / 1 Feb) – In designing the governance structure of the constituent state in the federal framework, the Duterte-organized Constitutional Commission (Con-Com) can draw inspiration once again from the Bangsamoro Basic Law. They can also consider the parliamentary structure. The current local governance model established by the Local Government Code (LGC) follows [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

COMMENTARY: On Federalism

(Delivered at the Galing Pook Forum on 11 November 2016 by former Comelec chair Christian Monsod, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution). Since it was approved by a majority vote of 76% in a national plebiscite .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 14th, 2016

Federalism enhances government

The principal goals of a democratic constitution are to advance individual liberty and to provide an effective governance framework......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2016

COMMENTARY: Federalism, diversity and national integration

MELBOURNE, Australia (MindaNews/28 October) &'8212; When Spanish forces landed here eons ago they had initially observed that the indigenous people of these islands were of one ethnic stock. Later on however, they would realize that despite the apparent h.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 28th, 2016

COMMENTARY: What “Imperial Manila” really means

MELBOURNE, Australia (MindaNews/19 August) &'8212; Federalism is the mighty weapon that will destroy Imperial Manila! Federalists actually treat this rallying call as self-evident. No wonder then that they never bother to provide the specifics of this .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsAug 19th, 2016

How do we change from unitary to federal?

Part 2 of 3 The first part of this three-column series discussed the four preconditions to a less painful, sustainable and successful shift to federalism. As I have previously said, revising the 1987 Constitution needs a FRAMEWORK, a step-by step process,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 17th, 2016

COMMENTARY: Before Con-Ass, Con-Con or Con-Com, Con-Ed first

MELBOURNE, Australia (MindaNews/05 August) &'8212; President Rodrigo Duterte won on a platform that included giving the federalization of the Philippines very serious consideration. Thus it is particularly curious that federalism only had a small mention .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsAug 5th, 2016

Commentary: Unexpected lowering of electric bills

In what came as a welcome surprise for consumers and consumer groups, Meralco this week announced a reduction in power rates for May amounting to P0.5436 per Kilowatt Hour for a typical household......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

PEACETALK: A New Constitutional Order for Federal Philippines

(Presented by Datu Michael O. Mastura, lawyer and delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convenion, and a former representative of Maguindanao,  at the Learning Sessions on Charter Change and Federalism in the House of Representatives on May 16, 2018 and the Senate and House of Representatives May 17). Why is autonomy in the 1987 Constitution inadequate […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

COMMENTARY:Beyond the Malaysian Political Tsunami

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 May) — The stunning victory of the opposition in Malaysia’s recent parliamentary elections led by former strongman Dr. Mahatir Mohamad has left people ecstatic, bewildered or anxious. While it was generally welcomed by the Malaysian population which gave Mahatir’s Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition more than a simple majority […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

Black Ops 4 is going where no Call of Duty game has gone before

Treyarch steps out of the traditional framework of Call of Duty titles for Black Ops 4. Where, in the past, Call of Duty games would have had a single player campaign headlining their titles, Black Ops 4 does away with the entire campaign itself. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

‘PH will likely lose maritime rights’ in Spratlys – experts

  The long-delayed implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and United States signed in 2014 will make it more difficult for the Philippines to fight for its stakes in the South China Sea, maritime experts said.   "If implementation of the agreement continues at this rate, the national interests of both the Philippines and the United States will suffer," wrote Gregory Poling and Conor Cronin, experts on maritime disputes from the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, in a commentary,"The Dangers of Allowing US-Philippine Defense Cooperation to Languish."   "Without a fully implemented E...Keep on reading: ‘PH will likely lose maritime rights’ in Spratlys – experts.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Legal framework for nuclear power needed – Sen. Gatchalian

The Philippines needs to finalize the legal framework for the development of nuclear technology as a national power source, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018