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Sotto: No need to railroad federalism efforts after Bangsamoro Organic Law approval

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

 

 

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FILE PHOTO: Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III

 

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law hurdles the scrutiny of the bicameral conference committee following the reconciliation of all its sensitive and contentious provisions on Wednesday (July 18).

And with the expected enactment of the proposal, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the Congress will no longer need to railroad the efforts for the shift to federalism.

During a weekly press briefing at the Senate, Sotto noted that the proposed organic law could be a good test case to see if a federal type of government would work in the country.

“Magandang experimental itong Bangsamoro Organic Act. Dito makikita natin kaya hindi natin kailangang apurahin yung federalism,” Sotto said.

The measure seeking to create a Bangsamoro entity that aims to help attain lasting peace in Mindanao is expected to be ratified by the Congress on July 23.

President Duterte is expected to sign the bill into law on the same day when he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Sotto added that in the two years of the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Act, the public would be able to weigh in if it is effective or not.

He said that the Congress can always repeal the law if it fails to cease the hostilities. But if it turns out positive, it would not be hard to push for charter change.

Sotto admitted that for now, he is not keen to push for the immediate passage of the proposed federal charter as it contains issues that need to be thoroughly scrutinized.

These include the proposed political party system, putting up of a democracy fund and the anti-political dynasty.

“Maraming debatable issues pa,” said the Senate president.

The Senate leader plans to call for a caucus after the SONA on Monday (July 23) to get his fellow senators’ take on the proposed constitutional revisions. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Fiscal risks of federalism delays cha-cha

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Senate has maintained that deliberations on the proposed federal charter will not be rushed despite calls from the Lower House to fast track discussions.

According to Senate committee on constitutional amendments chairman Francis Pangilinan, there are several questions to be addressed in the campaign for charter change.

These include the warnings of the Duterte administration’s economic managers on the possible threats of federalism on the country’s economy.

“Hindi biro ang usapin ng charter change na dapat magkaroon na ng charter change dahil baka ang maging resulta nito ay man-made calamity, both political and economic disaster,” said Pangilinan.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez cited the possible fiscal risks of implementing the proposed federal charter.

He said country’s investment-grade credit ratings of the country which allows the country to borrow money with lower interest rates “will go to hell” if the proposed shift to a federal government pushes through.

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), a total of P120 billion is needed by the government to make the shift.

Due to the issues raised, senators urge for more serious discussions on the matter.

“Bakit hindi na lang after May 2019 na mag-ConCon para magkaroon ng separate na halalan para mabusisi ng husto ang revision ng ating Saligang Batas,” said Pangilinan.

Until now, senators have yet to decide on how to amend or revise the Constitution despite its progress in the lower chamber. — Nel Maribojoc

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Mocha Uson lambasted over ‘foul’ federalism video

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson (left) with blogger, Drew Olivar (Image grabbed from Mocha Uson official FB page)

 

MANILA, Philippines – Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson drew the public’s ire for a controversial video on federalism.

Uson and a friend, blogger Drew Olivar, were shown laughing while Olivar was singing and dancing lewdly to a song with the lyrics: “I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede, i-pepe-pepe-pepederalismo,” supposedly to promote the country’s shift to a federal form of government.

Senator Francis Pangilinan in a tweet said the administration should accost Uson for “disrespecting” federalism, a cause that the Duterte administration is strongly advocating.

He also called on Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to explain why he is allowing such actions under his office.

Senator Koko Pimentel said he was disappointed at  having Uson in the said campaign as he expected that authorities on the matter such as members of the Consultative Committee would spearhead the federalism drive. He suggests that Uson should keep off the federalism campaign.

“Hindi ko lubos akalain na bababuyin pala nila ang kawsa ng pederalismo. Ilayo si Mocha sa pederalismo. Magaral muna siya ng mabuti. Mag-leave muna siya.

He also slammed the Assistant Secretary for the wrongful content of the supposed campaign material.

In a script reading, Olivar mentioned countries such as the US, France and Singapore as among those under a federal form of government. Among the three, US is the only one using a federal form of government. France, however, is under a unitary semi‑presidential constitutional republic while Singapore is under a parliamentary republic.

Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay claimed that the government is not serious in promoting federalism in using Uson as a chief propagandist. He said that Uson’s action reflects the President’s position as she works for the President.

 

Senator Chiz Escudero said such an attempt to attract the public attention on such an important issue is an act of desperation.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said that what Uson and her friend did could just be a joke. But reacting on the manner it is presented, Sotto said “theatrics” will definitely not work for such a serious topic as federalism. — Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

 

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PH earns praises from UN, EU, Japan for the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ enactment of the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has earned compliments from the international community following its official signing by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26.

The United Nations, in a statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, recognized it as “a landmark achievement on the road to lasting peace in the southern Philippines.”

The European Union said, “The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law represents an opportunity for the Filipino people to embrace peace and stability after decades of strife,” in a statement by EU Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic.

The Philippines’ ally Japan, meanwhile, was the first to express its support “for the development of Mindanao in a wide range of fields, in accordance with progress in the peace process.” This, according to Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano, is Japan’s commitment under the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the next five years announced in October 2017,

The Bangsamoro Organic law is considered a key step to ending a decade-long armed conflict in the southern Philippines that had claimed thousands of lives since it began in the 1970s.

For his part, President Duterte appealed to the Moro community to give BOL a chance in leading the path towards peace.

“Hindi pa kami nag-usap sa Tausug group, kay Nur, o kahit kanino ang kailangan kausapin ko. Iyong BBL tapos na. Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera. Kasi kung mag-giyera — wala naman problema mamatay tayo. Mamatay man tayo lahat. Ang problema, ang mga mahirapan ang mga bata, matanda, pati mga babae. Mag-iwan lang tayo ng maraming orphans. Maglaki ng walang tatay, hirap ang nanay. Papaano… Huwag natin pasukan ‘yan. Hindi panahon natin ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung away na pwede tayong makipagsapalaran na ubusan. Mag-usap na lang. Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo,” the President said during his visit to fire-affected residents in Brgy. Bus-Bus in Jolo, Sulu on Friday (July 27).

A ceremonial signing of the BOL  is being prepared between President Duterte and the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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