Former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel on Monday reiterates that Sabah is part of the Philippines and should be among the states to be created under the federal form of government that President Rodrigo Duterte proposes.
“Sabah is ours and many countries recognized it,” said Pimentel during a Lecture on Federalism held at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City. He added Sabah belongs to the Philippines and there are documents to prove this claim while Malaysia is just a lessee.
Under the federal system, the country will have 11 federal states. And while keeping a presidential form of government the number of elected senators will be increased from 24 to 81.
There will be four states under Luzon — Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and another four in Visayas — Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, and Minparom, covering Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental, Palawan and the Kalayaan Islands, Romblon, Marinduque while three in Mindanao — Northern Mindanao, which may be subdivided into Northwestern and Northeastern Mindanao; Southern Mindanao, Bangsamoro.
The National Capital Region will be the capital of the Federal Republic of the Philippines, just like the Washington D.C. in the United States.
Pimentel explains that the system is necessary to allow government resources to be distributed equitably to each province in the country.
“It is a system of sharing power,” he said.
Pimentel is the founding chairman of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Pres. Duterte’s political party.
Under the proposed federal system, the president and the vice president will be elected together with a six-year term of office without reelection, unlike the present system where they are voted separately, while senators will no longer be elected nationwide.There will be 66 senators for the 11 federal states and Metro Manila will also have six senators, and 9 more to represent overseas Filipinos for a total of 81 senators.
Federalism, according to Pimentel, will accomplish two major things — cause the speedy development of the entire country by unleashing the forces of competitiveness among states; and second, dissipate the cause of rebellion in the country, particularly in Mindanao.By federalizing the Republic, the States will concretely address the needs of their component sectors more readily, he added.
Duterte’s pitch on changing the country’s system into a federal-parliamentary form, has been a popular idea in provinces away from the capital, but has been lacking support from sitting politicians.
Duterte complains that Manila gets everything “so regions are forced to beg.”
Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2016/07/04/do-we-really-need-a-federal-state/