Sunday, July 15, 2018

"Congress should not rush shift to federalism" - Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday Congress should not rush the shift to a federal form of government through Charter change and warned that threatening local governments to speed up the process may divide the country.

In her weekly radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni,” Robredo said the public needs enough time to understand federalism and appreciate the benefits of the proposed Cha-cha.

“Kung isang bagay ito na mabuti para sa atin eh paintindi sa atin ang kabutihan nito. Huwag naman sana na daanin sa dahas. Huwag daanin sa pabilisan (If this is one thing that is good to us, they should make us understand its benefits. I hope they should not resort to threats. This should not be rushed.),” Robredo said.

“Huwag sabihin na kung hindi boboto para dito hindi magkakaroon ng budget kasi kapag ganyan para lahat tayo magdududa na, lalo tayo hindi magkakaisa (Don’t say if you don’t vote in favor of it, you will get no funding because if that’s the case everyone will doubt, the more we will not unite.),” she added.

Leni Robredo, a lawyer and former lawmaker, is against the shift to federalism, calling charter change “untimely,” because of various problems facing the country such as poverty and rising consumer prices.

The Vice President reacted to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that he would withhold funds of politicians who will not support the federalism initiative of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The shift to federalism is among the priority programs of the current administration. This will empower local governments in other regions and decentralize power and wealth from Manila.

The consultative committee tasked by Duterte to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution has already submitted a draft federal charter to the House of Representatives.

Alvarez wants to postpone next year’s midterm elections to speed up the shift to federalism.

But Robredo said the discussion on Cha-cha should be studied thoroughly and not rushed.

The Vice President stressed that Filipinos should be given the chance to listen to the administration’s explanation on federalism and ask questions about it.

“Para ginagamit ‘yun lakas, ginagamit ‘yun kapangyarihan para ayain mga tao bumoto ng isang bagay na hindi naman nila naiintindihan. Iyong pakiusap lang natin mayroon namang karapatan ‘yun lahat na magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin (It looks like their strength and power are being used to invite people to vote on a matter that they don’t understand. My plea is that everyone has the right to express their beliefs.),” she said.

“Sana bigyan tayo ng pagkakataon maipahayag nila ano kabutihan nun pero hindi dinadaan sa sagasa. Parang nagkakaroon tayo ng impresyon na sinusulong ito para lang hindi magkaroon ng eleksyon sa 2019 (I hope we will be given the chance to know its benefits, but not through railroading. We seem to have an impression that they are pushing for it in order to postpone elections in 2019.),” Robredo added.

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