DUTERTE TO STEP DOWN AFTER TERM

Not interested in extending term beyond 2022

President Rodrigo Duterte is not interested in extending his term beyond 2022, contrary to speculations that calls to suspend the 2022 elections were made for his benefit, Malacañang said on Monday.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said delaying the elections “can… Read More

DUTERTE SHOOTS DOWN REVGOV

Duterte not for RevGov: Palace

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte remains against the calls of his supporters to declare a revolutionary government, Malacañang said Tuesday.“Nananatili pa rin ang paninindigan ni Presidente na hindi po kinakailangan ng revolutionary government sa ngayon dahil siya po ay isang… Read More

RevGov advocates’ proposal ‘strange, incomprehensible’

MANILA – The proposal of the pro-Duterte group seeking to establish a revolutionary government and adopt a new federal constitution is “strange and incomprehensible,” Malacañang said Wednesday.After getting snubbed by the President, the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte – National… Read More

Pro Duterte demonstrators gather in Mendiola, Manila on November 30, 2017 calling for the establishment of a recolutionary government.

REVGOV PLOTTERS IN HOT WATER

PNP orders CIDG to probe ‘RevGov’ proponents

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, has ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to conduct a probe and closely monitor the proponents of the so-called “revolutionary government” (RevGov) movement. Gamboa reiterated that the PNP… Read More

DUTERTE: Yes to Federalism, No to RevGov

ROQUE: Duterte has not abandoned his campaign promise but never considered establishing a revolutionary government

Pushing for federalism but not ‘RevGov’

President Rodrigo Duterte does not need to establish a revolutionary government to make true on his promise to push for a federal system of government, Malacañang said Monday.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has not abandoned his campaign promise but never… Read More

AFP will not support ‘RevGov’ call

DND chief wants probe

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will not support any effort to establish a “revolutionary government,” its spokesperson said on Monday.”It’s very clear to every soldier, airman, sailor, and marine that our unequivocal fidelity and unwavering loyalty is to the… Read More

Bishop hopeful of more ‘Nene Pimentels’ among politicians

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – As the late Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. is laid to rest Saturday, a Roman Catholic leader is hopeful emerging politicians will follow the path that the deceased political figure had taken–even in the face of repression.

pimentel dies
MORE NENE PIMENTELS. Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma celebrates a Holy Mass for the late Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. at the City Tourism Hall Thursday night, before the deceased public servant’s remains were brought back to Manila Friday. (PNA photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem) 

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma said Pimentel had shown the Filipino people “the face of a principled leader and an effective public servant.”

“He was an opposition during the time of martial law, which shows to the young people that working for righteousness and morality are still very important in public life,” Ledesma told reporters on the sideline of the necrological service dedicated for Pimentel at the City Tourism Hall Thursday night.

Ledesma said Pimentel was incarcerated several times during the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos but that “he did not bend down to the powers-that-be and instead chose to be on the dissenting side even if it meant being persecuted for what he believed in”.

“I call him a steadfast warrior, [who followed] a straight path in serving our country. And he did not make any political compromises. In fact, he was imprisoned four times during the martial law days because he really stood for working against authoritarianism,” Ledesma said.

The archbishop said he remains optimistic that younger elected officials and public servants will emulate Pimentel’s style of leadership.

“We hope there will be more Nene Pimentels to arise,” Ledesma said.

Although he conceded that the dream remains elusive “at present,” he draws hope from a number of local officials “who have shown promise.”

“We have young political leaders who are also conscientious. In fact, I would think that the new leadership of cities like Manila or even here in Cagayan de Oro are examples of good governance,” he said.

Ledesma is referring to Manila mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, a first-time politician who introduced some drastic measures to clean his city, and Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, who is now on his last term.

Ledesma said he expects politicians to stand by what they believe in, as far as being a good public servant is concerned.

“I would call Nene a good example of principled leadership. He stuck to his principles, and served our country with these,” he said. (PNA)

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NENE PIMENTEL

Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel

pimentel-1

BOL to bring lasting peace in Mindanao

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) lauded the creation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in pursuit of peace and prosperity in Mindanao Region and at the same time recognized that “the path to the realization of the BOL is complex and filled with challenges.”

“We commend the Bangsamoro Organic Law for addressing the root sources of social violence in Southern Philippines. Indeed, the meaning of peace goes deeper than the cessation of militarized encounters. Studies on Mindanao such as those by Montiel (2012; 2013), Bulatao (1973), and Saber (1969) imply that among Muslims peace is strongly associated with Muslim culture and land-related debates. The BOL forefronts both of these issues,” the NRCP said in a statement.

It said the BOL comprehensively addresses many aspirations and issues citing Article 1 which establishes the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, while Article 2 asserts the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and establishes the territorial jurisdiction over constituent units and bodies of waters.

In its 18 Articles, NRCP said the BOL further outlines and illustrates how power and wealth will be decentralized to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

“A deeper peace in Mindanao will certainly open up more avenues for political democracy and economic prosperity,” it said.

However, the group stressed that the BOL’s passage is only the beginning, though a very important one.

“We note that political transitions anywhere, in any form carry with them challenges such as reversal of powers to long established dominant groups, or the slow pace of policy execution, or the lack of support from citizens. Cognizant of these challenges, those trusts in the pursuit of the BOL see the need to utilize appropriate communal resources during the difficult transition period,” it said.

“The Bangsamoro Organic Law engenders a form of decentralization through power-sharing between national and sub-national levels of government. However, power-sharing is not easy to implement. Decentralization presents both opportunities and risks. On the hand, autonomous regions can turn more culturally creative, economically productive, and politically accountable communities precisely because they are no longer stifled by centralizing domination,” it added.

On the other hand, NRCP said such centrifugal forces may likewise unleash destructive fragmentation that may create new social divisions and separations or may perpetrate the domination of traditional powers and authorities.

“Indeed, the cooperation and partnership among diverse groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MNLF), indigenous peoples, Christians, and the Philippine government, who have been instrumental in the forging of the BOL, are essential to the BOL’s intent and purposes,” it said.

Meanwhile the group recommends measures that are necessary for a healing process and to build a society of peace and development.

Such measures include: Address the memories and traumas; Encourage greater tolerance and intercultural living among clans and communities that respect and recognize diverse beliefs, customs, and practices; Capacitate communities around participatory and shared efforts in local governance; Enhance the capacities and skills of local authorities, particularly in leadership under the new Bangsamoro Organic law; and Encourage and incentivize experts and scientists to share the competency necessary for a local democracy to be inclusive and developmental. (PR/PNA)

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Police ready for BOL plebiscite

COTABATO CITY — The Philippine National Police is all set to secure Monday’s plebiscite here and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, police officials said Friday. 

Senior Supt. Michael Lebanan, acting city police director, said voters should have nothing to worry about as enough number of police officers have been deployed to the city and its environs.  “We are 100 percent ready,” Lebanan said.

He said the city police is backed by members of the Philippine Army’s Special Forces Battalion plus additional personnel from Police Regional Offices 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 13 (Caraga) to secure all entry and exit points of the city in time for the January 21 plebiscite here.

The police official said he has also urged city residents to alert the police of any suspicious individual, group or thing that may endanger the lives of city residents.

In a similar development, Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, police director for the ARMM, also said that everything is in place to ensure that Monday’s referendum would be peaceful and orderly in their jurisdiction.

PRO-ARMM covers the cities of Marawi and Lamitan, and the provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Lanao del Sur.

In a statement, Mijares said all police units in the region are in their respective areas of assignment in preparation for the upcoming plebiscite. (PNA)

House OKs draft federal charter on final reading

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading its proposed federal charter.

With 224 affirmative votes, 22 negative votes and three abstentions, the Lower Chamber approved Resolution of Both Houses 15, which seeks to propose revisions to the 1987 Constitution. It was principally authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and over two dozen lawmakers.

The Constitution provides that any amendments or revisions may be proposed by Congress upon a vote of three-fourths vote of all its members.

The House of Representatives currently has 292 members. This means that at least 219 lawmakers are needed to vote in favor of the resolution.

RBH 15 proposes a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government and empowers Congress to establish federal states.

The term of the President and Vice President, which shall end in 2022, shall not be extended. The incumbent president is prohibited from running in the 2022 elections.

It seeks to adopt and develop a two-party system as a mechanism of representation and democratic governance.

The first election under the proposed constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May 2022.

The measure mandates that the President and Vice President maintain the same powers and functions as that of the 1987 Constitution. It, however, requires that a vote for the President shall also be a vote for the Vice President and the President and Vice President must be from the same party.

Their term of office under the draft constitution is also limited to four years with one year for re-election.

RBH 15 proposes the adoption of a bicameral legislature, wherein the House shall be composed of no more than 300 Members and the Senate shall be composed of 24 Senators.

It lifts the term limits for members of Congress and requires them to have a college degree.

The proposal does not contain an anti-political dynasty provision.

The resolution was put to a vote on second reading last week after only three session days of plenary debates. (PNA)

DUTERTE TASK FORCE TO BOOST FEDERALISM DRIVE

FEDERALISM 101

The creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Federalism and Constitutional Reform signals President Rodrigo Duterte’s full commitment to federalism, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.

“As the head agency tasked by President Duterte to advocate for federalism, we are happy with the creation of the interagency task force. This is clear evidence that the President is true to his promise for lasting change in the country,” Año said in a news release.

PRRD’s federalism task force brings Cha-cha back in focus

Año said the DILG expects public support for federalism to skyrocket by the end of 2018 with the formation of the IATF.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular No. 52 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, creating the IATF to spread public awareness on federalism.

With the DILG at the head and the Department of Justice as Vice Chair, the IATF is comprised of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Presidential Management Staff, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Office of the Political Adviser, Commission on Higher Education, Development Academy of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines Law Center.

The IATF is also tasked to “liaise with Congress” to remove all roadblocks that hamper constitutional reform.

DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said the IATF will bolster the federalism public awareness drive that the DILG is currently working on.

“We need all of government aboard this advocacy in order to properly and effectively disseminate correct information on federalism. And as the Chair of the IATF, the DILG will continue to uphold and further raise the banner for federalism in its advocacy to shift from a unitary form of government to a federal setup,” Malaya said.

He said the IATF will push for the Consultative Committee’s (ConCom) draft Bayanihan Federal Constitution and will process the comments received from the public on the proposal.

He added that the task force will also consult with the ConCom, different government agencies, private sector and the public on matters concerning federalism and constitutional reform.

“Federalism is not dead. Federalism is just getting started. Watch and see the birth of a new form of government,” Malaya said.