Press Release
February 13, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said he sees nothing wrong with the series of administration-sponsored roadshows intended to drum up public support for fresh initiatives to amend the 1987 Constitutions with the adoption of a federal system of government as ultimate proposal.

Pimentel said the Charter Change activities now being undertaken by governors and other local government executives will complement continuing moves in Congress to propose a federal system to replace the existing highly centralized unitary system.

In fact, Pimentel said he is set to file a joint congressional resolution seeking the adoption of the federal system but retaining the presidential structure with a two-chamber Congress.

However, he warned Malacañang and its legislative and local government allies against making the federalism proposal a ploy for justify continued stay in power of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo beyond 2010.

"I fear that if they will take advantage of the federalism proposal to circumvent the constitutional prohibition against the reelection of the incumbent president, this will just turn off our people and again frustrate well-meaning attempts to pursue constitutional reforms," Pimentel said.

Pimentel said he has been advocating the shift to federalism for more than two decades now because he believes it is a system of government that will: 1. address the aspirations of Muslim Filipinos for genuine autonomy and end the secessionist conflict in the South; 2. accelerate the economic growth of the country; and 3. solve the grievances of people in the Visayas and Mindanao over inequitable distribution of the national wealth due to the monopoly of power by Imperial Manila.

He noted that the Arroyo administration is pushing the federalism proposal to help break the deadlock in the government's peace negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

However, Pimentel stressed that the federal setup should apply to the entire country, with the proposed BangsaMoro federal state as one of the 10 component states under his proposal.

He said he is in favor of retaining the presidential system because most Filipinos would not give up their right to directly elect the head of the government (president).

In a parliamentary system, the head of government (prime minister) is directly elected by members of parliament from among themselves.

News Latest News Feed