Duterte Promises Lasting Peace through Federalism
Senator Koko Pimentel says their camp is fixing their sights on a major push to educate the masses regarding federalism amid a report suggesting only a quarter of Filipinos are aware of a federal form of government.
According to a survey by the Social Weather Stations or SWS, only 25 percent of respondents knew or have an idea about a federal system of governance, a reason why Pimentel-led PDP-Laban- which has been at the forefront of a shift to federalism, hopes more Filipinos become aware of how it worked as a system of government.
“Survey says many don’t know about federalism. It does not say they don’t like it,” Pimentel said as he is optimistic Filipinos won’t reject federalism once they learn about it.
“How can someone like something one doesn’t even know about?” added the former Senate president and thus the formulation of the massive information drive.
“We know we need to explain federalism to the people, hence we will continue what we have been doing as a party, subject to our limited resources in terms of time, manpower, money, etc,” he said.
Under a federal form of government, the Philippines will be divided into autonomous states or regions. In this compound mode of government, a central government will be combined with the regional governments in a single political system.
Before last year’s State of the Nation Address by President Rodrigo Duterte, Pimentel also underscored the need to shift to federalism- which Duterte has also endorsed since his presidential campaign.
“We will empower our regions to determine their development plans, their overall direction through the shift to federalism,” Pimentel said.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said that Filipinos might not be ready for a federal form of government but stressed that this was the key to lasting peace in the country and in conflict-ridden Mindanao.
Duterte said there was a need to “find the right formula” in bringing peace to Mindanao.
“We must find the right formula here because, if not, our country, all of us, will sacrifice,” Duterte claims.
The President said the decades-long conflict in Mindanao by various groups could not be solved even by the intervention of other countries.
“Kayo lang talaga, nobody else, not even the mediation and the intervention of so many countries. Walang mangyari ito as long as we don’t really concede something,” he said.
He reiterated that only a federal form of government could bring lasting peace in the country.