Palace: Federalism cannot be rushed

Published August 11, 2018, 12:57 PM

by iManila Developer

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that having discussions on federalism is more preferable than to rush its implementation and discover problems later on.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after President Duterte’s economic managers openly expressed concerns about the charter change, prompting a member of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) to call for their dismissal.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a radio interview, Roque said that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III only wants to iron out his issues in the draft federal charter but is not against the shift to a federal government.

“So hindi naman po tinutuldukan ‘no, sinasabi lang na kinakailangan pag-aralan pa at tingnan iyong aspeto ng financial ramification (They’re not putting an end to charter change, they just want it to be studied more and look into the aspect of financial ramification),” he said.

“Si Secretary Dominguez ay isa po iyan talaga na aktibo na nagsulong ng kandidatura at plataporma ni Presidente para sa pederalismo ay nananatili siyang naninindigan para sa pederalismo, kaya lang kinakailangan iyong detalye ay kinakailangan talagang plantsahin (Secretary Dominguez is one of the active supporters of President Duterte for federalism and he remains to be so. However, they just need to iron out certain details),” he added.

Roque also said that talks about federalism is important to immediately fix issues instead of worrying about them later on.

“Siguro ang pagmamadali po ay huwag naman iyong parang magresulta sa mas malaking danyos (We need it fast but we should not rush it to a point that it will result to great damages),” he said.

“Ito po ay pinag-uusapan at tingin ko po kinakailangan na pagpulungan din po ito ‘no, na iisa po ang posisyon ng lahat ng tao sa ating Gabinete (This needs to be discussed so the Cabinet will have one stand),” he added.

Meanwhile, Roque assured that Duterte is still committed implement the draft federal charter crafted by the ConCom.

He also said that the President is fine by his economic managers voicing out their concerns about the draft federal constitution.

“Hindi naman po (galit). Ang Presidente naman ay naniniwala sa malayang pananalita (He’s not angry. The President believes in the right to freedom of expression),” Roque said.

Earlier, ConCom member Father Ranhilio Aquino’s called on President Duterte to fire Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia because of their concerns about federalism. Dominguez said the draft charter was confusing while Pernia said the shift would wreak havoc on the economy.

According to Roque, the Palace welcomes Aquino’s concerns and acknowledges his passion and hard work in contributing to the drafting of the federal charter.

The Palace official, however, said that Malacañang views the differences of opinion on federalism as part of the continuing discourse which the Duterte encourages to thresh out possible contentious issues.

Duterte is pushing for federalism in order to decentralize the government and to empower the regions.