CEBUANOS FORM FEDERAL MOVEMENT
Federalism has taken the Visayan city of Cebu by storm and Cebuanos have formed a group in support of the concept first pushed by the Council of Leaders, a group of Mindanao political leaders led by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte on Sunday, October 5, was in Cebu for the induction of officers of the Cebu City Federal Movement for a Better Philippines.
The trip to Cebu City is the first of massive consultations on federalism that Duterte and the Council of Leaders earlier announced would be held nationwide.
Duterte was accompanied by Council of leaders members Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, Reuben Canoy of the Radio Mindanao Network and former Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez.
The induction of the Cebu federalist group gave Duterte and the Council of Leaders the opportunity to discuss federalism with Visayan officials who attended the event including former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña, retired general Alex Bacalla, former Cebu vice governor Enrique and Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado.
In his speech, Duterte told the crowd of more than one hundred that federalism is the only solution they see that would address not just the problem on insurgency in Mindanao but also the long-deplored wealth sharing disparity between Luzon and the Visayas and Mindanao.
During the event, Governor Zubiri proposed the holding of a summit by Mindanao and Visayas political leaders to drum up support of Congress for a federal form of government.
He urged the Visayas federalists to prod their congressmen to support and push measures in Congress towards federalism.
Duterte admitted that their push for federalism is a long shot for now but added that with the recent move by the administration for an amendment in the Constitution, he sees a window of possibility for federalism to be introduced. (with botconsultancy.com report)