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Jun 26th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Federalism Proposal Does Not Allow GMA to Stay in Office Beyond 2010
Federalism Proposal Does Not Allow GMA to Stay in Office Beyond 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Saturday, 09 August 2008 23:12

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said there is no way President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be allowed to stay in power beyond the 2010 expiration of her term if the federal system of government embodied in Joint Congressional Resolution No. 10 will be adopted and implemented.


Senator Pimentel said there may be truth to the insinuation that the peace agreement that the administration has worked out with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front may be used by Malacañang as a pretense to amend the Constitution to enable Mrs. Arroyo to circumvent the constitutional ban against her reelection.


He said the term limit on the presidency can possibly be removed by shifting to a parliamentary system, which is not contemplated under Resolution 10 which he and 15 other senators have filed. Under a parliamentary system, Mrs. Arroyo can run for prime minister.


It is very clear, the minority leader said, that Resolution 10 proposes the shift to a federal system while retaining the existing presidential structure of government.


“I would like to say that Resolution 10 speaks only of a federal system. It does not deal with the adoption of a parliamentary system under which Gloria can conceivably extend her term by running for prime minister,” he said.


Senator Pimentel said that while the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain between the government and MILF contemplates a so-called Bangsa Moro Juridical Entity with its own territory and system of government, it is not clear at this point whether both sides are aiming to establish a federal setup.


He explained that Resolution 10 calls for the creation of a Bangsa Moro Federal State, but this is only one of the 11 component federal states that will simultaneously emerge with the plan to federalize the whole republic.


Pimentel said he does not believe that the creation of a Bangsa Moro Federal State will work and will be acceptable to the nation unless the entire country is federalized.


“I have been going around the country speaking of federalizing the republic. For if you federalize only the Bangsa Moro area, there will be an uproar. Why only them?” he said.


Senator Pimentel also pointed out that Resolution 10 speaks very clearly about how the Muslim areas are “to be integrated under one federal state covering essentially the same territorial area as spelled out under present laws.”

He emphasized that the constitutional term limits that apply to President Arroyo and other incumbent elected public officials will remain in force if a federal system is adopted.


Senator Pimentel challenged the administration and ruling party not to commit the mistake of riding on the federalism proposal to perpetuate Mrs. Arroyo in power because this is bound to be repudiated by the people.


“The difference is that the process I am advocating is open and transparent. But theirs is hidden or under the table. My proposal definitely does not allow Gloria to extend her term. That is the big difference,” he said. # # #

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Last Updated on Saturday, 09 August 2008 23:35

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