Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo support for federalism stressed

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

THE leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday reiterated its support for the federalism initiative of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte.

“The House of Representatives fully supports President Durerte’s crusade to set out federalism in the country through constitutional processes,” said House senior Deputy Majority Leader and 1-Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta.

Marcoleta made his reaction after Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari warned of war if federalism will not materialize.

He recalled that the House of Representatives last December voted 224 against 22 and with three abstentions, approving on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses 15 (RBH 15) which amends the 1987 Constitution to effect President Duterte’s proposed shift to a federal form of government.

“We have done our part, under the leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to deliver the draft new Charter to the Senate last year. We shall pursue this process given the people’s mandate, expressed in the last elections, for Charter change,” Marcoleta explained.

Earlier, Arroyo said the administration’s proposed federal Charter is a priority mesure.

RBH No. 15 is pushing for a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government and empowers Congress to establish federal states by convening Congress into a constituent assembly (Con-Ass).

RBH No. 15 did not contain the anti-dynasty provision and included after amendment the Vice President in the line of succession to the presidency.

The House of Representatives supports Con-Ass, believing that convening Congress into an assembly and voting separately is necessary because it will shorten the time needed for Charter change (Cha-cha).

Earlier, Mrs. Arroyo admitted that the proposed shift to a federal form of government would not materialize during her term as Speaker.

The country’s president and vice president will be elected with each other to serve four-year terms, subject to one reelection, the proposal said.

For members of Congress, the proposal mandates that they should be holders of college degrees and will also serve four-year terms.

The measure states that the first election under the proposed Constitution will be held on the second Monday of May 2022.