Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rody Duterte calls for federal summit

by Alexander D. Lopez | Manila Bulletin

DAVAO CITY, Davao — Mayor Rody Duterte will convene Mindanao leaders and various groups of stakeholders for a one-day summit on federalism Monday (December 1) in a bid to adopt a viable alternative to the present system of governance he described as “antiquated”.

Duterte, a potential presidential candidate, has not made public political plans for 2016 but cautioned supporters against pushing for his candidacy saying he would push for a federal form of government and abolish Congress as his first official act should he become president.

In the invitation which Duterte signed, the straight-talking lawyer and former prosecutor said, “I am calling on all responsible leaders in the island from government and civil society organizations, business, church, academe, military, indigenous peoples, youth/student and other stakeholders to tackle the possibility of pushing federalism as a viable alternative to the prevailing antiquated system, to effect meaningful political and social changes particularly in Mindanao and the country in general.”

The summit will be held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel here.

The summit, according to Duterte, aims to “forge a well-informed united front tasked to craft a collective plan of action on what is perceived as an arduous and long quest for Mindanao’s true identity reflective of its various tribes and peoples’ wishes and aspirations.”

The summit also hopes to address the “brewing sentiment of conscienticized leaders to forge unity towards a federal system of government.”

Davao City Information Officer Leo Villareal said a seven-man panel has been formed to act as reactors. They are: former President Fidel V. Ramos, Msgr. Fernando Capalla, Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora, student leader Krista Iris Melgarejo, Severino Magbuo of the Indigenous People, former AFP Chief of Staff retired Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, businessman Paul Dominguez, and a constitutionalist who was not named.

Topping the list of invited participants are the governors, vice governors, congressmen, city and municipal mayors in Mindanao including those from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).

Governors Joey Salceda of Albay and Jose Pepito Alvarez of Palawan were also invited by Duterte and so with Congresswoman Lenny Robredo, the heads of the Municipal Mayors’ League, Vice Mayors’ League, Councilors’ League, and League of Barangays in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

From the religious sector, 24 Mindanao bishops headed by Bishop Capalla were invited, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Muslim religious leaders led by Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao, Shiek Aleem Pasigan, and other 8 religious leaders.

Muslim leaders in the list were lawyer Randolf Parcasio, Prof. Moner Bajunaid, and Amina Razul.

Non-government organizations, Gabriela party-list, UP Mindanao student council, transport, labor and the urban poor groups will be represented in the summit.

The Chamber of Commerce in Davao and other areas in Mindanao, Philippine Banana Exporters Association, Miners Association, Tuna Exporters Association, and those in construction business who will represent the business sector were likewise invited to attend. - Manila Bulletin

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