Nograles to voters: Elect pro-federalism candidates
MANILA, Philippines – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Tuesday called on voters to elect candidates who are for a federal form of government.
According to Nograles, results of the upcoming midterm elections would be crucial for the administration’s federalism advocacy.
IATF refers to the, which was tasked to and Constitutional Reform (IATF-FCR) to finish the Bayanihan Federalism charter crafted by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) as the Palace wants a “harmonized” draft charter to be submitted to the next Congress.
“I, therefore, urge the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism) led by the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) to continue its public awareness campaign,” Nograles said in a statement, “and to work with the Consultative Committee (Con-com) so that we will have a harmonized draft constitution to submit to the next Congress.”
Con-com member and former Supreme Court Justice Eduardo Nachura echoed Nograles’ call, saying all 23 members of Concom are willing to declare their support to any candidate backing federalism.
“If you ask me, there are 23 members of the Con-com who are willing to go on stage and declare that we will not vote for any candidate who will not support federalism,” Nachura said in the same statement.
“We are willing to go public on this. We are willing to go on record and even now I am saying that I will certainly not vote for anyone who does not support federalism,” he added.
Interior Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said he is confident President Rodrigo Duterte would endorse to Congress the harmonized draft federal charter during his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“Our target is by the time the President delivers his SONA, he will endorse the harmonized Bayanihan Federalism charter to Congress,” Malaya said.
“The President’s guidance to us is to continue pushing for the Bayanihan Federal Constitution and to harmonize it with the comments and inputs from our consultations. In this regard, we will be working closely with the Con-com,” he added.
For his part, retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno appealed to the public to ignore the draft federal constitution of the House of Representatives, which he said will “die a natural death” after the elections.
“The House version (of constitutional reform) will die a natural death because pagkatapos ng elections, mag-iiba na ang composition ng Kongreso. So let us not be unduly disturbed by the House version. Isulong pa rin natin ang Bayanihan Federalism,” Puno said. Daphne Galvez, INQUIRER.net /kga
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