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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Federalism – A threat against self-preservation for the anti-Dutertards

As the administration accelerates the pace of charter change initiative en-route to Federalism, several groups opposed to it have started to mushroom everywhere and made their negative positions known at this early. Among those on the other side of the fence are the framers of the 1987 Constitution, e.g. Christian Monsod and ex CJ of the Supreme Court Hilario Davide who proudly claimed that the present constitution is "the best in the world" despite its imperfections. And he warned the people that Federalism is anti-poor because of 2 taxations and that the shift to such form of government is a 'lethal experiment, fatal leap, plunge to death and leap to hell' without providing any sound argument that would support such a sweeping and hasty generalization.

With due respect to the esteemed former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, I find his assertion as a grave insult to the intelligence of the Filipino people for being bereft of any iota of logic, common sense and intelligence. Simply put, it is idiotic, to say the least. He should be reminded that under the 1987 Constitution, the Filipino people have already been "tortured" (to borrow his own word), by various taxes imposed both by the National and local governments and the same constitution allows these taxes to be siphoned off to the Central government controlled by the elite politicians at the expense of the local folks who get in return a measly token share of the resources (after much begging from the national government) hardly enough to help develop themselves as local governments. Under the Federal form of government, this system will be reversed as the huge chunk of these taxes will now go to the federal states to fund their own development sans any dictate from the central government which is the real essence of regional autonomy that promotes country-wide development for which the present constitution has long denied under the unitary system of government. 

After 31 years of embracing it, the current constitution has miserably failed to mitigate our problems of mass poverty, graft and corruption, unemployment, social inequality, injustices, rebellion, and the destruction of our environment and other ills of the society. On the contrary, it helps contribute to increasing the gap between the rich and the poor in our country and the cementing of the oligarch's control of the country's wealth via their cabal of corrupt politicians conniving with them in cornering all major businesses including the coffers of our government. Calling this constitution as the "best in the world" therefore, smacks of hypocrisy, ignorance of the brazen realities around and a grave lie being peddled to protect the oligarch's interest in perpetuating their control on our country's well-being and suck its blood dry. With all the shitholes we are in right now as a country being stuck in an oligarch-controlled unitary form of governance,  Davide and his minions should be slapped with the fact that this constitution is anti-poor, to say the least. At best, adopting it was a 'lethal experiment, fatal leap, a plunge to death and leap to hell' which the current generation of this country wants to be emancipated from.

Shifting to federal form of government is one of the election campaign promises of Duterte which catapulted him to the Presidency. With the people's continued support to his administration based on recent surveys, its realization is therefore inevitable. Doing otherwise will be a grave betrayal on the mandate reposed by the people on his shoulder. Thus, anti Dutertards should realize that it is not Duterte who wants Federalism. It is the overwhelming majority of the Filipino people who are sick and tired of being relegated as victims of the systemic problems of the current form of government.

Duterte has religiously followed every procedure set forth in the constitution and even walked an extra mile to ensure that the sentiments of the people including the opposition are faithfully considered in drafting the new charter. Instead of rushing it by using his immense control over both houses of congress and the people's backing, he created a consultative body composed of constitutional experts whose credibility are beyond reproach to study and recommend what provisions of the 1987 constitution should be amended to shift to the federal form of government which Congress may consider. Such an act defies any allegation of railroading and a black propaganda that Digong is bent on perpetuating himself in power under a federal set up of government. But why are the reds marching against charter change? Why are the political elites, the oligarchs, the religious, the activists and the opposition are against charter change? Why are the anti Dutertards for that matter against federalism?

While the kind and system of federal set up of government to be adopted is still being discussed, any campaign launched against it at this early is therefore considered premature, black propaganda and pure idiotic political grandstanding which stands on hollow ground. But the fear of the antagonists of federalism has basis in fact because federalism will soon bring to an end of their malevolent scheme in placing this country in stagnation for the last more than 3 decades or so.

Federalism is anti-oligarchs. It seeks to destroy the backbone of the oligarch's manipulative control and greed over our country's governance in protecting their business interests. In the current unitary system, there are laws passed at the behest of the rich elites of the country who control roughly 80 percent of the country's wealth including those at the regions. They also fund the campaign kitties of those who want to run as President and legislators to ensure the protection of their interests. Duterte shun the practice during the last elections by declining offers of financial support from the Imperial Manila businessmen. Under the federal set up, these ills and malpractices will finally be put to end as the rules of the games will be changed. The federal states are empowered to determine their own investment and business policies including taxes to be imposed and therefore the oligarchs will be constrained to deal directly with the states government in competition with local businessmen and foreigners under an even playing field where the usual corrupt practices of favoring Manila businessmen in exchange of bribe money will become a thing of the past. This would mean more funds for the federal states, local businessmen will sprout and foreign investments will be poured in finally at the federal state level which would cause massive employment for the local folks and eventually help alleviate poverty in the country sides. How can one call it anti poor, then?

Federalism is anti-Political Elites. It seeks to liberate the local folks from the control and influence of elite politicians of the imperial Manila who have been dominating the country's seat of power for several decades at the expense of local politicians and countrywide development. In order for the latter to get projects, they have to befriend politicians from the central government, begging for their support for funds. And when these political elites go to the regions, they are treated like gods by the local folks who usually bow to their wishes sometimes under duress. In the federal set up of government, the political elites from the Central government will have no more influence over the state governments as the latter will have their own power of the purse and are absolutely free in implementing their own programs and projects funded by the own state government's resources.

Federalism is anti-Imperial Manila. It liberates the regional government agencies from the control of central agencies which are all located in Metro Manila. Local government folks usually migrate to Metro manila for jockeying of job promotions and positions and where great employment promises abound. Under the federal set up of government, central agencies of which have direct impact to state government will cease to have control over state departments which will be created by the state folks themselves, funded by their own resources and run them according to their own state laws sans any dictate and influence from the central government. Central offices in Metro Manila will soon become ghost buildings as migrants will now go back to their own states for better employment, thereby decongesting Manila and eventually kills the stigma of "imperialism" it has been undesirably known for in the eyes of state folks.

Federalism is anti-traditional activism. It diminishes, if not wipe out, the role of the traditional activists in fighting against government on national issues. Under a federal set up of governance, most national issues will be regionalized as each state can make its own position independent from one another and even from the central government. Such a scenario will eventually lead to the demise of the traditional activism in this country which explains Joma's opposition to such move.

Folks, the foregoing are just few among the many consequences of federalism to the lives of the Anti Dutertards. While trying to camouflage their arguments on pure sugar quoted rhetoric signifying nothing, the crux of their fear is that federalism threatens their existence and would therefore work tooth and nail to block it for the sake of their self-preservation and aggrandizement. But the tide is turning against the interest of the anti Dutertards and their reluctance to come out expressing their opposition in the open signals the capitulation of their own lost cause – an admission that Federalism is indeed inevitable.

But what is preposterously disturbing here is the fact that when Joma Sison calls for the youth to launch mass mobilization against Duterte and the charter change initiatives, a few students from UP and other legal youth fronts of the CPP/NPA/NDF have responded immediately. Their idiocy however is evident on the placards they carry which erroneously painted Digong as pro US, fascist and they cannot even articulate their grounds for opposing charter change other than the usual idiotic propaganda slogans which people no longer buy these days.  In the ultimate analysis, the Duterte Administration is the one fighting for real change by destroying the status quo and other societal ills brought about by the current problematic form of governance. The traditional street activists however are resisting such struggle for reform by trying to block its realization through charter change. History will then judge that the real activists here is Duterte himself and those who support him while those who march against charter change are the ones who want to keep the status quo for their own self vested interest and preservation. 

In this digital age, street activism is no longer relevant. Real activism has shifted in the social media. It is one's ability to write, criticize government, support its move for change, argue and generate support as you seek societal reform. Mass mobilizations these days are now a thing of the past. It is left for those who cannot write and garner support by making and presenting sound arguments to prove their point. Street activists are just like brainless political zombies who find solace and gratification licking the wounds of the past, thus trying to pull this country back to the era of Marcos dictatorship so they can find relevance to their idiotic existence. People look at them with disdain as they are considered vandals of the society who have not done anything at all to move this country forward other than consistently pulling it down. Theirs is blind submission to ideological dogmatism as propagated by their idiotic god in Utrecht who continue to tickle their balls remotely from afar to keep them afloat like brainless street trolls moving according to the wishes of Joma Sison. And they are proud calling themselves "activists".  – Sanamagan! 

When federalism is set in place, these morons will finally find themselves flushed out in the dustbin of our country's political history where they can continue to tickle and lick their own balls in total seclusion. It's a different world which former Sol Gen Hilbay imagined for all anti Dutertards to live in which they deserve... a world where political orgyism is the name of the game. – Jun Avelino

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To Amend or Not To Amend: That is the Question. A Debate on Charter Change.