Much ado about Federalism


federalismIncoming President Rodrigo Duterte overwhelmingly got elected on the strength of his strong advocacy and commitment to rid  government of corruption, fight criminality and go after the nefarious individuals behind the drug menace badly affecting the country today.

Even if Duterte has not assumed office yet people are at awe at how soon he is starting to find success in his promises and many are heaving a deep sigh of relief at what they are seeing and hearing about his early accomplishments.

What is unfolding in the country today is something unseen and unheard of before and this can be attributed to a great number of Filipinos trusting and accepting his unorthodox and unconventional leadership style to bring drastic and positive change in the way government is run.

People are tired of the ways old traditional politicians run the country and in Duterte they have found inspiration and hope such that one can see an incredibly high level of cooperation even among existing government officials, and other agencies for that matter, that are still manned by the Aquino administration.

It is no wonder therefore that most political parties in the country today are coalescing with Duterte’s PDP-Laban not because for political convenience, but I would like to think that it is more for believing and embracing the eccentricity of the man, he who could influence their lives into becoming like him, fearless, selfless and incorruptible, but without necessarily being rubbed off by Duterte’s foulmouthed.

So, if we are seeing results now that conforms with Duterte’s iron-hand policy in running the country as mentioned above, to include peace talk agreements with the leftists and Moro rebels, Congress willing to give emergency powers to the incoming president to solve the horrendous Manila traffic problem, etc., under the present presidential system of government, then what does it mean to the Filipinos?

It simply means that it takes a leader with balls like Duterte who does not care about political correctness but has the political will to do what is necessary for the best interest of the country and its people.

The audacity, determination and resolve that Duterte has shown to have peaceful, stable and progressive country seem to be rubbing off on his Cabinet members and his increasing number of political allies and that is what is making him stand head and shoulder over past presidents.

So why make so much ado about Federalism, a system of government in which the same territory or in or case, the same archipelago, is controlled by two levels of government, generally an overarching national government governing issues that affect the entire country, and smaller subdivisions governing issues of local concern?

I know federalism is Duterte’s baby, but other than the fact that shifting to federalism won’t come cheap for a struggling country like the Philippines, what is more striking and significant is the reality that there is no guarantee that after Duterte’s term of office is over that a federal form of government will succeed with a less forceful leader.

Bottom line again is that it is not the form of government we should be adapting that will make us great, for whether it is presidential or federal, both have its own distinct infirmities.

The truth and the reality is that a leader that is loved, respected, resolute, feared and straightforward is what this country needs and what makes any form of government succeed.



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