Sunday, August 7, 2016

Albay solon says “Duterte social revolution for federalism” gains ground in Congress

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug.6 (PNA)--The call for a Constitutional Assembly (Con-Ass) in changing the country’s government set-up from a presidential type to a presidential-parliamentary system is in high gear, Albay second district Rep. Joey Salceda said today.

Salceda, in an emailed statement, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s “strong political grip” in both houses of Congress has made the Con-Ass proposal “more acceptable.”

He noted how the proposal has been gaining positive response among the legislators.

As he sees the proposal gaining grounds in Congress, Salceda urged his constituency here to give Congress a chance to change the Constitution through a Con-Ass.

The Albay solon said the President’s “change is coming” slogan “would bring in a social revolution that would strongly shape his political capital” in making the important shift from the present system of government to federalism through a Constituent Assembly rather than the “costly” Constitutional Convention type.

Salceda believes such a “slogan” would give push to the federalism set-up and “keep Congress in check to prevent other topics outside of federalism from intruding into the agenda.”

He said the fear of “intrusion of political vested interest” would be curbed by the President’s “willful grip through his guided party discipline coupled with public intervention in the proceedings.”

“Of course, the Con-Ass should be circumscribed to focus only on federalism,” Salceda said.

He said the choice of Con-Ass reflects Mr. Duterte’s belief in a strong leader-led movement that counts on the 285 pro-Duterte coalition congressmen. Salceda noted the coalition includes the Suarez faction, referring to Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez.

“I call this the ‘Duterte tsunamic rise’--a rising tide” that Salceda said has quelled his earlier reservations that it would take a revolution to change a Constitution.

He even cited the “First Quarter Storm,” which he said is an event that paved the way for the 1971 Constitution, and the 1986 EDSA revolution (also known as People Power Revolution) that pushed the 1987 Charter.

“I was looking for a similar driving force and found the Dutertic ‘political tsunami.’ For this, I ask our people to give Congress a chance and Con Ass a chance,” Salceda said. (PNA) PGL/GVR/MSA/CBD