THERE were several moves in the past by Pampanga congressmen to add more congressional districts. From the original four to six. The efforts all went kaput. I remember former Congressman Yeng Guiao filed a bill to create the lone district of Angeles City. Ahead of him was a bill also filed by then Congressman Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin. Former 3rd District Congressman Oscar Rodriguez also filed a bill creating the lone congressional district for the City of San Fernando. All efforts failed.
It might be recalled that in the senate then our Cabalen Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid filed a counterpart bill creating the lone congressional district of Angeles City. (In case you don't know, bills are to be passed by both houses and signed by the president of the republic before they become into law.) No success. Both incumbent congressmen Aurelio Gonzales of the third district and Congressman Carmelo “Jonjon” Lazatin II of the first district show no interest in reviving efforts of their predecessors. Methinks there's really no need.
Maybe the two congressmen are hearing it from their colleagues in the House of Representatives that there will be a major shift, or shall we say a dramatic change in the political landscape in the next two years as the lower house is ready to constitute itself as constitutional assembly to overhaul the basic charter. And then proceed to a Federal form of government, as President Duterte wanted from the very start.
My own political sources are saying that federalism is a sure thing under the Duterte administration. Since his allies are in the majority in both chambers, though opposition can be expected, yet can easily be steamrolled. There are even talks that President Digong is mulling a revolutionary government. It is all talks being said in whispers along the corridors of power. In this regard, there will be strong objections definitely, but mostly will be confined on speeches from the minority surely coming from Senators Frank Drilon and Antonio Trillanes as can be expected. The “dilawans” will march in the streets. In the lower house Congressmen Edcel Lagman and Teddy Baguilat will take on the microphone, but all these can only be noise. Senate President Koko Pimentel and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who are both from the Mindanao region and share the same views and beliefs of President Digong and many from both chamber will circle President Digong's wagon.
I recall now my conversations some months ago with former president and now second district Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when I asked her if what's next after her stint as a member of the House of Representatives. She is now on her last term. Point blank I asked her, “Ma’am what's next after congress?” She said, “I hope to stay in congress if there will be a charter change.” I interpret that she may opt to run for the senate when senators will soon be elected equitably representing the regions which will become federal states.
Count the months, it will not be long when our country will be renamed Federal Republic of the Philippines.
- By the looks of it, the barangay and SK elections will be postponed and maybe it will not even be held next year.
- The running feud between President Duterte and Senator Trillanes should stop. We didn't elect them just to quarrel. Please serve the people.
- To young kids: Please be selective in joining a fraternity. Excessive punishment is uncalled for.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on September 26, 2017.
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