Tell it to SunStar: Senate, House rift mere diversion

IN a bid to move away from the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which is seen as a reactionary constitution following the dictatorship of former president Ferdinand Marcos, the Filipino people contemplated changes or amendments to the charter in order to usher the Philippines into the future and a more democratic government.

Though it appears as though there is an impasse between the House and the Senate regarding changes or amendments to the 1987 Constitution, it could also be seen as a delaying tactic by President Duterte and the PDP-Laban to grant themselves more time to fulfill the campaign promise to move the government towards federalism.

Duterte’s recent move to create a consultative committee composed of 19 members headed by former chief justice Reynato Puno, not only eases this apparent tension between the House and Senate, but also makes Duterte look like a peacemaker and a problem solver. Through this consultative committee, Duterte’s personal agenda for federalism can be pushed unto or influence Congress.

The reason for this “supposed” delay by Duterte and PDP-Laban would be because there is still fighting between the Philippine Government and the New People’s Army and the Muslim rebels in Mindanao. If federalism were to be voted on, ratified and implemented immediately, what would stop them from seceding and declaring their independence?

With a delay such as this, Duterte and the PDP-Laban have gained time to focus on other matters, clean house, suppress the rebels, and begin a marketing campaign to promote and support Duterte’s vision and version of federalism, which is evident in the creation of organizations like the National Alliance of Movement for Federalism Inc. (NamFed), headed by Danilo Lim, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chief.

One of Duterte’s and PDP-Laban’s most widely used strategy or technique in implementing controversial policies is to acclimate the general public’s ear through media exposure, speeches, and rallies in order to make them seem less controversial.

If federalism were to take place here in the Philippines, it would still take a long time, and Duterte has been able to buy himself that time through this impasse between the House and Senate.--Mel D. Allego


The penalty for counterflowing is just and fair. The drivers that were caught would surely say they did not know they were violating the other persons right of way. If so, they are sure to remember their violation after they were penalized.

Courtesy breeds courtesy. It is contagious. Violating the speeding and counter-flowing order is also contagious, especially if the violators get away with these (two wrongs don’t make one right). But I am tired of avoiding cars and motcycles denying me my right of way.

Meanwhile, we should stop supporting law breakers just to gain votes.--Freddie Acopan
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