Priest to people against Federalism: Is it the system you’re opposing or Duterte? - The Daily Sentry


Priest to people against Federalism: Is it the system you’re opposing or Duterte?



Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, photo from Rappler
Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, a priest, professor, law and philosophy expert, is one of the members of the 22-member consultative committee (ConCom) chaired by former chief justice Reynato Puno.

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, whose track record is undeniably impressive, was handpicked by Pres. Duterte to be part of the said committee.

On July 3, the committee —  tasked by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself to further study the federal government and the system’s application in the country — unanimously approved the draft which it would submit to the president on July 9, report says.

However, as the proposed system progresses little by little, the criticism from the people opposing it unsurprisingly increases.

This is what triggered Fr. Aquino to express his opinion about the disapproval, instead of support, it is getting from some of his fellow countrymen.

Posted on Facebook, Fr. Aquino wrote a striking message for the anti-Federal government people.

Addressed to the system’s detractors, the law expert asked what they know about such for them to react against it.

“ARE YOU OPPOSED TO FEDERALISM? If you oppose federalism, the presupposition is that you have studied it, and your studies show you that it is not good for the country. To which I must now retort: Really, now? Have you studied it?”, he started.

The federal government crusader added that he even studied the constitution of different countries, obviously to better understand how the system works.

“Now, when you oppose federalism tell me what studies you did that I did not do, or studies that the likes of Reynato Puno, Antonio Nachura, Virgilio Bautista, Rodolfo Robles, Aquilino Pimentel, Edmund Tayao or Julio Teehankee did not do.”, Fr. Aquino asked.

“But if you did not do these extensive studies and yet you staunchly oppose federalism, is it not possibly because you oppose Duterte rather than federalism?”, he added.

The pro-Duterte priest also pointed out that some people tend to contradict something not because they are actually against it, but because they are against the person who is all for it.

“But federalism has NOTHING to do with Duterte except that he agrees with it and supports it. Does that make federalism a bad idea? LET US BE MORE SCHOLARLY, PLEASE. We are becoming too visceral. And we have this bad habit of ignoring the issue -- what the medieval scholars called "ignoratio elenchi"., Aquino wrote.

Later, the genius ConCom member mentioned that while some opinions are brilliant, others are dumb.

“Is not everyone entitled to his opinion? But of course. And it is as true that some opinions are brilliant, others are dumb.”, he stated.

Read his Facebook post below:

ARE YOU OPPOSED TO FEDERALISM?

If you oppose federalism, the presupposition is that you have studied it, and your studies show you that it is not good for the country. To which I must now retort: Really, now? Have you studied it? Upon being named to the Committee, I started studying it and that meant NOT JUST reading constitutions, but reading constitutional law treatises of Germany, Canada, Malaysia (2 volumes) and South Africa (12 volumes). I also studied the constitutional law of Spain because of its Autonomous Communities and of Italy because its Regions enjoy a wide latitude of self-governance, often characterized as "fiscal federalism". Now, when you oppose federalism tell me what studies you did that I did not do, or studies that the likes of Reynato Puno, Antonio Nachura, Virgilio Bautista, Rodolfo Robles, Aquilino Pimentel, Edmund Tayao or Julio Teehankee did not do.

But if you did not do these extensive studies and yet you staunchly oppose federalism, is it not possibly because you oppose Duterte rather than federalism?

But federalism has NOTHING to do with Duterte except that he agrees with it and supports it. Does that make federalism a bad idea? LET US BE MORE SCHOLARLY, PLEASE. We are becoming too visceral. And we have this bad habit of ignoring the issue -- what the medieval scholars called "ignoratio elenchi".

Is not everyone entitled to his opinion? But of course. And it is as true that some opinions are brilliant, others are dumb.
Father of federalism, former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (right), with retired Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Nachura and ex-chief justice Reynato Puno, photo from Philstar
Meanwhile, in a separate post, the same lambasted the ones who demand for the copy of the draft approved by the ConCom.

He also addressed Raissa Robles' tweet that reads,

Dear Father @RanhilioAquino - I cannot understand how you can follow the bidding of a man who spits on the very God you chose to serve with all your heart and soul. and educated in a school put up to serve that God. I really can't. I will say this only once and never again.

To which Fr. Aquino answered,

Raissa Robles asked how I could "do the bidding of one who had spat on the Church". I did not sit to do the bidding of the President. I am grateful that the President appointed me, because the fact is that he handpicked the appointees. But all of us sat as independent commissioners -- each voicing his position and the results of his research without doing the bidding of anyone. Reynato Puno, Antonio Nachura, Aquilino Pimentel, Rodolfo Robles and my colleagues are not people you shove around to do your bidding.

I also sought counsel from Archbishop Soc and Cardinal Chito before joining the Committee.

I think that I achieved more by joining the deliberations, debating with all intensity and contributing prodigious research into the writing of a presidential draft rather than just wrecking reputations of others and yakking from the sidelines.

Below is Fr. Aquino's complete Facebook post: 

THEY DON'T GET THE POINT

Why, many complain, are copies of the Draft of the ConCom not publicly available? Some even invoke their "right" to the draft. Here is the point.

Under the Constitution, the power to revise the Constitution is Congressional. The Legislature may wish to achieve revision through a vote of three-fourths of the Houses of Congress "voting together" (that still has to be definitively interpreted), or through a Constitutional Convention. In any event, the people must lend their assent through a plebiscite.

When President Duterte, by Executive Order No. 10, constituted the Consultative Committee, he constituted a body that would do the work that he could have done by himself: prepare his own draft. In short, the draft we signed yesterday is the draft of the President that he can only PROPOSE to Congress that can accept the draft, modify the draft, or hurl it out of the window altogether (which would be very unwise).

So copies cannot be made available to the public -- and there is no public right to them -- because it is the President who has a right to his own draft first, and then he can make it available to the public. It will then be for Congress to decide how to take the draft.

Raissa Robles asked how I could "do the bidding of one who had spat on the Church". I did not sit to do the bidding of the President. I am grateful that the President appointed me, because the fact is that he handpicked the appointees. But all of us sat as independent commissioners -- each voicing his position and the results of his research without doing the bidding of anyone. Reynato Puno, Antonio Nachura, Aquilino Pimentel, Rodolfo Robles and my colleagues are not people you shove around to do your bidding.

I also sought counsel from Archbishop Soc and Cardinal Chito before joining the Committee.

I think that I achieved more by joining the deliberations, debating with all intensity and contributing prodigious research into the writing of a presidential draft rather than just wrecking reputations of others and yakking from the sidelines.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, photo from Google