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Pederalismo, hindi sagot sa mga problema ng gobyerno

Iginiit ng dalawang eksperto sa politika na wala gaanong magiging epekto ang pagkakaroon ng pederaralistang uri ng gobyerno sa pag-unlad ng bansa sa isang talakayan noong Martes, ika-23 ng Agosto.

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Iginiit ng dalawang eksperto sa politika na wala gaanong magiging epekto ang pagkakaroon ng pederaralistang uri ng gobyerno sa pag-unlad ng bansa sa isang talakayan noong Martes, ika-23 ng Agosto.

Sa isang talakayang pinangunahan ng ABS-CBN News Channel, sinabi ni Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque na hindi niya nakikita ang kahalagahan ng pagbabago mula sa unitaryong uri ng gobyerno patungo sa pederalismo.

“I’m not sure how federalism will assist in curbing criminality or fighting poverty. If we say that economic development is impossible under a unitary government, well the statistics deny this,” sabi ni Roque

Hearing the budget now, the projection is saying that we will have at least 7% of gross domestic product growth within the next six years which can make us the fastest growing economy in Asia,” Dagdag pa niya..

Imbis na isulong ang pederalismo, iminungkahi na lamang ni Roque na dapat paigtingin na lamang ang kasalakuyang local government code.

“If you just want to improve the fiscal autonomy of local government units, we don’t need the federal government because we already have sufficient provisions both in the constitution and in the local government code. The problem is that the central government is not implementing it.”

Ayon sa Seksyon 2 ng Artikulo X ng Saligang Batas, ang mga subdibisyong teritoryal at pulitikal ay dapat magtamasa ng lokal na awtonomiya. Nakapaloob din dito ang desentralisasyon o ang paglipat ng kapangyarihan ng nakatataas sa mga lokal na pamahalaan. Ito ay hindi nalalayo sa layunin ng isang pamahalaang pederal.

Sa kabila ng plano ni pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na ipalaganap ang pederalismo sa bansa, hindi rin sigurado si Roque kung buo ang puso ng pangulo sa kaniyang planong ito.

“I don’t think the President is really into it…because if he is sure with this, he should already have allocated a budget for the amendment of the Constitution.”

Para naman kay Benedikt Seeman, tagapangasiwa ng Konrad Adenauer Foundation, ang pederalismo ay naaangkop sa mga malalawak na bansa gaya ng Alemanya at Pilipinas.

“Federalism will only work in countries that are regionally diverse. Countries with varied language and culture,” sabi ni Seeman.

Ngunit ipinaliwanag ni Seeman na hindi pa rin sagot ang pederalismo sa mga problema ng isang bansa.

“It has advantages but federalism by itself will not get one more criminal arrested or lift one child from poverty,” dagdag ni Seeman.

Pro-federalism

Ani naman ni Dr. Francisco Magno ng Political Science Department ng Pamantasang De La Salle na kailangan ng pederalismo upang mabigyang atensyon ang bawat rehiyon sa bansa.

“We have to start discussing the collective problems that cannot be addressed by the central government and not by the local governments operating individually. Because there are problems that have to be addressed involving regional issues including traffic management, environmental management, and other regional problems,” ani Magno.

Dagdag pa niya, “We want development not just in the central government but as well in the countryside.”

Para naman sa dating senador at may-akda ng local government code na si Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., ang pagkakaroon ng  pederalistang uri ng gobyerno ay maaring makatulong  sa bawat rehiyon na magkaroon ng representasyon sa pamahalaang sentral.

“Last elections, out of 12 senators how many were elected from the Visayas? It’s only Franklin Drilon from the Western part. The rest of the Visayas were not able to elect a representation to the upper chamber. In Mindanao, only two, Miguel Zubiri and Manny Pacquiao. Muslims have no chance of winning at all the senatorial race.”

Ipinaliwanag rin niya na ang pederalismo ay makatutulong din upang mapanatili ang kultura at tradisyon ng bawat rehiyon.

“It may highlight differences but at the same time it will put to rest their anxieties that their culture and tradition will not be respected,” ani Pimentel.

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“The worst has happened in our country” —Gutoc

Civic leader Samira Gutoc aired her frustration on the Duterte administration and its shortcomings to the Marawi natives in the International Human Rights Day rally held at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila Tuesday, Dec. 10.

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Rallyists converged in front Mendiola Gate to conclude the International Human Rights Day protest | Jeric Mataga/TomasinoWeb

Civic leader Samira Gutoc aired her frustration on the Duterte administration and its shortcomings to the Marawi natives in the International Human Rights Day rally held at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila Tuesday, Dec. 10.

“Presidente, hindi kami luluhod. Lift Martial Law, you have removed us from our homeland. You promised our rehabilitation, you promised our return. That has not happened. Hindi ka rin pala kasi kasing dugo,” Gutoc exclaimed as she spoke in front of progressive groups and other sectoral groups.

“It is not (an) accomplishment na mayroong bahay. Pinatay ang tao, hindi binalik sa kanyang normal na pamumuhunan at pamamahay. Kami ngayon ay mga kawawa dito na nanghihingi at kini-clearing ng DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] at ang mismong sarili nating LGU [Local Government Units],” she added while directly calling out President Duterte’s supporters.

“The worst has happened in our country, and it’s still happening. When people are not buried, they are not with names, numero lang ang nakikita sa sementeryo, […] and nobody is claiming responsibility,” Gutoc added.

The former senatorial candidate also appealed to current Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, wherein she included the situation of sidewalk vendors around the city being cleared out by the local government.

“Mayor ‘Yorme,’ we appeal to you. Kung talagang panatag [na] tao ka, biktima rin kami, biktima rin ang mga sidewalk vendor! ‘Wag naman walang puso at papaalisin lang kami ng walang relokasyon,” Gutoc reiterated.

Samira Gutoc during the 2019 Senatorial Elections Debate in UST

Despite admitting uncertainty towards the future of her people, Gutoc asserted that the fight for justice continues and they are on the right path.

“Kami sa Mindanao ay konti magsasalita dahil ‘di namin alam kung may bukas pa kami, pero alam namin, tayo ay nasa tama […] walking on holy ground to remember. Kaya ako naka itim ngayon para sa mga namatay na walang hustisya [at] isang siyudad na sinira at hindi na binalik,” Gutoc added.

The International Human Rights Day is observed every December 10 to commemorate the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, proclaiming the inalienable rights of every person. Jose Rafael Ballecer with reports from John Aaron Pangilinan

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Delayed justice in Maguindanao Massacre: ‘Reflection of culture of impunity’

Journalists, along with progressive groups, flocked to Mendiola and held a program to commemorate the victims of Maguindanao Massacre and condemn the continuing culture of impunity and injustice in the country Saturday, Nov. 23.

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Photo by Louise Lampa/TomasinoWeb

Minutes before noon on Nov. 23, 2009, 58 people — 38 of whom were journalists — were massacred in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in what would then be dubbed as the single deadliest attack on reporters and media workers in history. 

A decade later, justice for the victims’ families remain elusive, although already in sight, as the Quezon City Regional Trial Court is set to make its long-awaited decision until December 20 this year, after being granted an extension by the Supreme Court.

Journalists, along with progressive groups, flocked to Mendiola and held a program to commemorate the victims and condemn the continuing culture of impunity and injustice in the country Saturday, Nov. 23.

A reflection of the culture of impunity, injustice

In an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb, Justine Dizon, one of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) board of directors, expressed his dismay over the delay of justice for the victims.

He added that the time spent pursuing justice is a “reflection” of the situation of the justice system and the culture of impunity.

“This time na nailaan na walang hustisya for the past ten years is just a reflection kung paanong ang culture of impunity is plaguing our society right now,” Dizon said.

Dizon further noted: “This is also a reflection of how do we value the freedom of expression […] kung paano i-regard o ituring ang mga media at news organization na kritikal at nagbabalita nang matapat at matapang tungkol sa ating lipunan.”

‘Learn from history’

Bayan Muna representative Carlos Zarate urged people to “learn history” and, according to him, true change can only happen if the whole system that breeds injustices will change.

“Matuto tayong mag-aral ng kasaysayan, na ang tunay na pagbabago ay mangyayari lamang kung nabago rin natin itong umiiral na sistemang nagluluwal ng ganitong mga injustices,” Zarate said.

Zarate further added: “[D]apat baliktarin natin ito, iyang sistemang iyan na nagluluwal ng walang kapanagutan, ng panggigipit, ng maramihang papatay ay baguhin natin.”

Zarate, however, stressed that more Ampatuan massacres and other injustices, especially to the marginalized and the innocent are bound to happen if the state of impunity is continued to be normalized.

“Habang hindi nagbabago, habang ine-enable, ginagawang normal ang pagpatay, marami pang mga Ampatuan Massacre ang mangyayari sa ating bayan, marami pang mga mahihirap at inosente nating mamamayan ang magiging biktima ng inhustisya at impunity,” Zarate said.

Meanwhile, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) National President Daryl Baybado iterated the importance of a critical campus media, especially during these times.

“Bahagi sa kasaysayan [ng mamahayag pangkampus] ang paglaban sa diktadura ang paglalantad ng inhustisya ng korupsyon at iba’t-iba pang mga usaping panlipunan,” Baybado said. 

He added: “Asahan na magkakaisa hindi lamang ang mga mamamahayag pangkampus kundi lahat ng mga manggagawa sa media upang tutulan, labanan, at kundenahin ang mga harassment.”

Furthermore, Baybado also challenged the Duterte administration to give the people their rights.

“Simple lang ang hamon natin sa administrasyon: ang ibigay ang nararapat sa mamamayan. Hindi natin gusto ang isang lipunan na ipinagangalandakan at ipagsisigaw pa kung ano ang mga karapatan natin,” Baybado told TomasinoWebWith reports from John Aaron Pangilinan

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Abandoning the promise of PH sovereignty an act of betrayal to the country—Ex-Bayan Muna Rep

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said that President Duterte neglecting his promise to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty is an act of betrayal to the country.

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Photo taken from PHILSTAR

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said that President Duterte neglecting his promise to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty is an act of betrayal to the country.

Ocampo stated in an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb that the issue regarding the West Philippine Sea should not be disregarded and undervalued for it concerns the exclusive rights of the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“Ang naging issue riyan ay yung nakipag-usap si [President Duterte] kay Xi Jin Ping, pumayag siya na pwede kayo mag-fishing diyan. […] Kung payagan mo ‘yan mangisda sa atin, pakikialaman natin, maliliit lang ang ating boat, malalaki ang kanila. Sila, sasairin na nila yung laman ng dagat. Para sa atin ‘yon,” Ocampo said.

“Balikan niyo ‘yung campaign promise niya noon, on the West Philippine Sea, ang sabi niya ia-assert nya ‘yung Philippine sovereignty, tamang paninindigan iyon. Aayon tayo sa paninindigang iyon. Pero kung ia-abandon niya ‘yon, pagtataksil na iyon sa bayan,” he added.

Moreover, Ocampo mentioned that President Duterte’s prioritization of the anti-drug campaign and his response against the United Nations Human Rights Council were improper.

“Mali ang kanyang prioritization ng anti-drug campaign. Gayong inamin na niya ay hindi niya maso-solve. Pero sabi niya tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang campaign. Sige patay-patayan. Kung alam niya na hindi maso-solve sa pagpatay, bakit ipinagpapatuloy niya ang pagpatay?,” Ocampo said.

Last year, the president admitted that he cannot solve and end the problem with illegal drugs during his term, contrary to what he promised that he will finish it in 3 to 6 months and later on changed to 2 years.

“Mali ang response ng presidente na nagagalit,” the former Bayan Muna Representative said regarding the resolution of UNHRC to review the state of the Philippines during the war on drugs.

“Ang principle dito [ay] sumanib at na-elect ang Pilipinas sa United Nations Human Rights Council. So, bound siya sa action o resolution ng bagay na ‘yon, hindi ‘yun tatanggihan. So, taliwas siya sa ginagawa niya,” Ocampo added.

Kristine Erika Agustin

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