Oligarchs, political dynasties active in orchestrating resistance to federalism - CJ Puno - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Oligarchs, political dynasties active in orchestrating resistance to federalism - CJ Puno

former Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno / photo from PCOO

Former Chief Justice Renato Puno says that political dynasties and economic elite are very much active in orchestrating resistance to a proposed shift to federalism.

In a speech during a ceremony on Saturday as MalacaƱang’s consultative committee that drafted the a proposed federal Constitution disbanded, Puno said oligarchs opposed any change to the status quo, that would have benefit the poor.

“It will take more than quiet words to change this status quo protected and secured by political dynasties who will not yield their monopoly of political power and the economic elite that established a new monarchy, the monarchy of the moneyed, and will not — never — give up their throne,” the former chief justice said.

“Their factotums are everywhere, ensconced from within the government and encompassed by business interests organized as cartels and oligopolies, with [an] evil eye [cast on] crusaders for change,” Puno also said.

The former chief justice said that the 22 members of the consultative committee would now shift their focus in the much needed information and advocacy drive for the change to federalism, which will be headed by MalacaƱang.

The bigger challenges is overcoming the opposition, add the fact that there is a general public ignorance regarding federalism.

“We should tell the people that federalism will end the culture of undue dependence on the central government, their compelled mendicancy from distant government officials who are unaware of their problems, hence unable to provide their solutions,” Puno said.

“Federalism is for freedom for our poverty-stricken countrymen, in our different regions, real freedom to direct their political and economic destiny, and save them from a future of futility,” the former chief justice added.*

Meanwhile, in a quick message to the disbanding committee members, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said that Puno and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a member of the committee, already met with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday and discussed the information drive.

The federal Constitution draft has come under challenges as even the President’s own economic managers, warned f runaway budget deficit and fiscal havoc that can cost the Philippines its investment grade credit ratings should the shift happens.

Under the proposed draft, the country’s regions would have its own governments, which would have greater fiscal and taxation powers.

While, the central government would retain its current powers, including Finance, defense and foreign relations including much of the national revenue.

Malacanang has submitted the drafted charter to Congress, which is divided whether there is a need to amend the Constitution, for the shift to Federalism.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea / image screen-capped from UNTV

Source: Inquirer