Thursday, August 16, 2018

Church groups oppose federalism, saying it will be 'for the worse': "We are gravely alarmed"



President Rodrigo Duterte / photo file from Rappler



Manila, Philippines – On Thursday, certain church groups expressed concern over the proposal to change the country’s form of government into Federalism, saying it would be “for the worse” and would only put the Filipino people far the edge, as bigger taxes would be imposed to support the bigger political establishment.

The group says they were “grave alarmed” by the said move of the Duterte administration.


 “We are gravely alarmed by the Duterte government’s move to change the 1987 Philippine Constitution for federalism.”  13 regional ecumenical councils or RECs of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines said in a statement.

The RECs argued: “Certainly, there is no popular clamor for it; recent surveys show that there is an increasing number of Filipinos opposed to charter change.”

The group also claimed the shifting to federal form of government will only benefit a few, saying that it would “allow foreign businesses to own larger shares of various ventures that were safeguarded by our present Charter.”

Furthermore, the religious group added that federal system would also give way to “expand and strengthen the power of political dynasties and constrict the democratic space in our society further.”
Among the signatories of the group’s statement are: Bishop Jerry Luls Sagun of the Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly; Rev. Rocini Bakian, Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera (Reccord); Fr. Allan Caparro, Eastern Visayas Regional Ecumenical Council; Rev. Antonietta Cabral, Palawan Ecumenical Council (PAEC); Eliza Guerrero, Reccord; Pastor Abegail Melody Obsequias, Bicol Regional Ecumenical Council; Rev. Juliet E. Egar, Southern Tagalog Regional Affairs Movement (Stream); *

Also, Bro. Lito Latorre, Stream; Amy Barrameda, Southern Tagalog Regional Affairs Movement, Stream; Rev. Gilbert G. Garcia, Pangasinan and Central Luzon Ecumenical Assembly (Paclea); Melba Altura, Paclea; Aurora Gabriel, Romblon Mindoro Ecumenical Council (Rominec); Rev. Herminihildo Allera, Rominec; Gladdys Jane Dado, Rominec; Rev. Dan San Andrea, Bicol Regional Ecumenical Council; Rev. Ely Espanola, Cotabato Regional Ecumenical Council; Rosia Concha, Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly (Cavrea); Demsen Prolet Agpaoa, Cavrea; Rommel Linatoc, National Ecumenical Council of the Philippines-Commission on Unity and Ecumenical Relations (NCCP-CUER); Rev. Irma Balaba, NCCP-CUER and Hannah Grace Santillan, NCCP-CUER.

Just last month, another critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, called the Charter change a “Trojan Horse”, saying that it will be a smokescreen for few people to take control of the country once implemented.


Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo / photo from CBCP News 


Source: Manila Times