DILG to Misuari: Gov’t still committed to pushing for federalism
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to shift to federalism is on track, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Saturday.
This was the statement of Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson, on learning that Moro National Liberation Front chairman Nur Misuari threatened to start a war if the proposed shift would not push through.
“The government’s advocacy for a federal system has never wavered and that it is now working with other government agencies in finalizing the details of the Bayanihan Federalism model developed by the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution,” Malaya said.
He also noted that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform (IATF), led by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, had been meeting for the past months in preparation for the opening of the new Congress in June of this year.
IATF members come from the Department of Justice, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, the Department of National Defense, the Civil Service Commission, the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat, the Presidential Management Staff, the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, the Commission on Higher Education, the Development Academy of the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Law Center, and the Department of Finance, among others.
“The IATF expects to finish its work by June of this year and we hope to work closely with the new Members of Congress to have this approved during the second half of the President’s term,” he said.
Malaya then told Misuari not to worry since the President still has three years left in his term that would allow him to drum up public support.
“Federalism, as we all know, is a complex matter. It’s a change in how we are governed. The devil is in the details. So, I think we have to give government more time to iron out the details. And that’s what we have been doing recently,” Malaya said.
“There’s still time to get this off the ground so Misuari shouldn’t worry. We hope that Chairman Misuari will instead help the IATF advocate for federalism among our people so that more people will understand why Federalism is needed,” he said. /atm
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