Tag Archives: Philippine History

The Philippine Case for Federalism, Its Form, and Its Safeguards






By Marcial Bonifacio

My friends and countrymen, at the behest of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a constituent assembly may convene this month in order to form a Constitutional Commission.  The focal point will be amending the Constitution to federalize the Philippines.  Such a rare and significant event necessitates meticulous deliberation, which is why I propose that the members consider the reasons I have presented for the shift from the current Manila-centric, unitary form of government to a decentralized system of federalism.

In this commentary, I have frequently cited America’s founders, since federalism (as a systematic study of governance wherein power is shared between a central government and state governments) is often attributable to them, and their intent is made manifest in a collection of their constitutional convention debates published in The Federalist.  “On every question of construction,” states the American founder Thomas Jefferson, “carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

Vertical Balance of Power

First and foremost, a federalist system would divide power between the national government and state or regional governments wherein such a dispersal of power would create a vertical, as well as horizontal balance of power.  The American founding father Alexander Hamilton elaborates:

This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them.

Close Proximity of States to the People

Second, state autonomy enables each state to govern more effectively due to their close proximity to the people residing in those states.  Jefferson wrote about the U.S., “Were not this great country already divided into states, that division must be made, that each might do for itself what concerns itself directly, and what it can so much better do than a distant authority.”  After all, do not our local public servants have a more accurate perspective of affairs within their own jurisdiction than those governing from Malacanang Palace?  Even President Rodrigo Duterte miscalculated the duration of his war on drugs, originally insisting on a 6-month purging operation, which he now says will require one more full year.  Such a reassessment is apparently due to his provincial (rather than national) perspective, since he was Davao City mayor for about 22 years.

The Fifty United States of America

Accommodation for a Vastly Diverse Populace

Third, state autonomy more easily accommodates governance of a nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands, several religious groups, and more than a hundred ethno-linguistic groups.  The conquests of Spain and Japan and the American occupation have also had a cultural influence on the indigenous people, as well as trade with the Chinese, Arabs, and Malays.  Naturally such diversity entails differing interests, modes of production, and social-ethnic concerns, all of which may require differing regulations or laws designed for the unique circumstances of each state or region.

Now consider some actual examples of federalism taking effect in America, which betoken unique variations in law, taxation, economics, religion, individual liberty, and culture.  The state of Utah is heavily populated by Mormons, while the mountainous state of Tennessee and Alabama are pervaded by evangelical Christians.  Recreational marijuana is legal in California wherein same-sex marriage and a large Filipino populace co-exist.

Massachusetts has mandatory health insurance and permits open carry of a firearm.  New York has the highest taxes, the most stringent gun control laws, business regulations, and the highest rate of fetal abortions.  (Perhaps those are the “New York values” to which Senator Ted Cruz was referring in his 2016 presidential primary run against Donald Trump.)

Florida and Texas have the lowest income tax rates, no mandatory state income tax, and they happen to be the most favorable states for bass fishermen due to their numerous lakes, rivers, and streams.  Philadelphia, the birthplace of America’s Constitution, levies a sugary drink or “soda tax.”  For advocates of capital punishment, the options are varied—electrocution in Kentucky, gas inhalation in Arizona, firing squad in Utah, and hanging or lethal injection in Washington.

Cannot our countrymen relate to such varying factors? Consider similar issues of which some are controversial as well as divisive but could easily be addressed by the states or regions—the drug war, the Mindanao conflict, RH Law, the death penalty, marriage dissolution, same-sex marriage recognition and benefits, jeepney fare hikes, VAT, etc.  In terms of core competencies or comparative advantages, Cebu is the exclusive producer of dolomite and graywacke, while Capiz and Ilocos Norte exclusively produce cotton.  Palawan and Boracay are the top tourist destinations of the Philippines, due to their beaches and the latter’s party ambience.

Furthermore, possessing regional or state sovereignty under federalism, allows each state or region to address such issues pursuant to their unique geographical or demographical situation.  “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system,” contends American Chief Justice Louis Brandeis, “that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  Indeed, impoverished regions can learn from and mimic affluent regions by scrutinizing their economy, tax system, business regulations, and commerce practices, while education administrators in one region can do likewise with successful schools in other regions.  In turn, such competitive regions could eventually decongest Manila.

Such a diversity would naturally appeal to the marginalized or disaffected members of society (e.g., the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, the Lumads, and Cordillera).  While there is much controversy over the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the establishment of a Bangsamoro state or region (to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) via federalism would render the BBL obsolete, since all states or regions would be equally autonomous simultaneously, at least eventually.

Tax Savings

Fourth, federalism would save taxpayers and the national government enormous amounts of money.  The more services the national government provides, the higher will be the cost (not to mention a growing apathetic bureaucracy susceptible to corruption).  Economics demands an increase of taxes or the tax base, lest the burden fall on deficit spending, or other social programs are cut.  However, if the regions assume responsibility, the people will be able to retain more of their hard-earned income, while their region more effectively delivers identical services, if, indeed, the residents wish to continue such services.  Such an arrangement would also allocate resources more efficiently and fairly, since taxpayers residing in Manila would no longer have to fund the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) or condoms for lazy, mendicant perverts residing in Zamboanga City (presuming 4Ps and the RH Law get repealed, or the regions have the option to nullify them by virtue of federalism, just as the U.S. is currently in the process of repealing the unconstitutional Affordable Care Act, colloquially called “Obamacare”).

Increased Power to Local Dynasties and Oligarchs

Apart from the ostensible advantages, some are fearful that federalism will enable political dynasties to dominate the regions.  However, a vigilant and informed citizenry can prevent such occurrences or take counter measures after the fact, such as passing and enforcing anti-dynasty and transparency laws as Senator Nene Pimentel suggests.  However, as I wrote in my commentary entitled Why Manny Pacquiao’s Defeat Could Be a Win for the Country, “I do not oppose dynasties, insofar as their members are fairly and democratically elected and serve the interests of their constituents. However, when they are self-serving or hold power only for namesake, I oppose them and any office holder—dynasty clan or not.”

Anyway, should all remedies fail, citizens and businesses can simply migrate to another region, which is more congenial to their own interests, values, economic preferences, or lifestyle.  Over whom would the dynastic oligarchs rule and depend on for tax revenue, if everyone migrated elsewhere?  Would they then not be compelled to compete with other regions by providing quality government services, e.g., infrastructure, public safety, property rights protection, and contract enforcement?

Federalism Too New and Foreign to the Philippines

Some opponents stress that since federalism is a foreign concept or that the Philippines lacks historical experience in regional autonomy (in contrast to the U.S., Malaysia, and Germany), such a system would be inappropriate or not viable.  However, I contend that El Filibusterismo, a sewer system, jeepneys, smart phones, and a Red Cross did not always exist, and, indeed, did change Philippine life for the better.  Hence, should we have opted to never have introduced them as well?  A prosperous nation demands openness to positive change, and education can accommodate any kind of change, despite its drastic implications.

Anyway, as Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban points out, “The idea of federalism is not really new to us. Salvador Araneta, a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention (ConCon), proposed it in his ‘Bayanikasan Constitution.’ Jose Abueva, the secretary of the same ConCon, has written several papers detailing his version of federalism.”  Even as early as 1900, an Ilocano intellectual named Isabelo de los Reyes, envisioned a federal constitution with seven states comprising the Philippines.

A Sufficient Government Local Code

In terms of regional autonomy, critics point out that the Government Local Code renders federalism obsolete, since the Code is intended to devolve power and disburse internal revenue allotments (IRAs) to localities.  “And yet,” stated Panganiban, “these do not seem to be enough because our Constitution mandates one national police to which the local police are legally beholden, and the Department of Budget and Management which could withhold IRAs.”  Such local autonomy “with strings attached” makes them prone to corruption, or, at least, apathetically unresponsive to the demands of their populace.  Federalism will cut those strings and enable the regions or states to determine their own future.

Neglected Poor Regions

Naysayers of federalism also raise the issue of impoverished regions worsening due to reduced national support.  However, I contend that such dependency or mendicancy is precisely what has retarded their capacity to cultivate their own resources in order to produce prosperity.  It is conventional economic wisdom that prosperous economies consist of most, if not all, of the following key variables: few or no entry barriers to trade, an educated labor force, natural resources, adherence to the rule of law, sustainable infrastructure, and high-scale technology.  Those variables can be cultivated by an efficient, corrupt-free government, quality educational institutions, economic liberalization, and pro-growth tax policy.

Recent history is certainly instructive in providing the proper perspective.  Consider the economic development and growth in post-World War II Japan after the atomic bomb converted its cities into ruins, yet the nation is currently the world’s third largest economy.  Within our own borders, after the recall of American naval bases in Subic Bay and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 (wherein the territory was reduced to an ash heap), it was shortly transformed and lauded by various world leaders as a successful trade port and a paragon for economic growth.  I elaborate on Subic in my commentary entitled Why the Senate Needs More Dick.  If Japan and Subic can prosper, under such overwhelming odds, why not any other region or state in the Philippines?

President Fidel Ramos considered Subic Bay such an economic success, he designated it (instead of Manila) as the location for the 1996 APEC summit, in which 18 heads of state met. Among them were Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, and US President Bill Clinton (at the far right).

Perhaps special concessions can be made to the more disadvantaged regions like Mindanao, which should be targeted and temporary as an incentive to be self-sufficient.  Indeed, I would not be averse to Chief Justice Reynato Puno’s concept of “evolving federalism” by which the lesser developed regions remain in the status of “autonomous regions” until they are capable of graduating to the status of “full states.”  In that case, benchmarks should be established instead of a timeline.

Best Ideas

Having presented my reasons for the federalist shift while also addressing contrarian views, I also propose that the Constitutional Commission scrutinizes, adapts, and includes the American government’s model—in full or, at least, in part to the model of Resolution of Both Houses No. 8 (RBH 8), which was filed by Rep. Eugene Michael de Vera and Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.  First and foremost, America’s republic is comprised of the best historical ideas.  Indeed, the founders scrutinized the governing systems of the predominant Western civilizations—ancient and contemporary.  These include Greece, Rome, France, and England from which the founders derived the concepts of liberty, justice, trial by jury, separation of powers, democracy, republicanism, and self-government.  The founders meticulously studied the rise and fall of tyrannical governments in those nations, as well as their own experience with King George III in framing a constitution which would preclude such occurrences in the U.S.

Preexisting Government Infrastructure

Second, since the Philippine government was largely framed after the U.S. government, the familiar preexisting federal infrastructure or apparatus of the separate executive, legislative, and judicial branches facilitates a more congenial transition to federalism much more so than abolishing it as parliamentary government advocates and proponents of PDP-Laban Federalism Institute’s model seek to do.  Even the anti-colonialist Delegate Manuel Roxas defended the ratification of the 1935 Constitution:

Why have we preferred the Government established under this draft?  Because it is the Government with which we are familiar.  It is the form of government fundamentally such as it exists today; it is the only kind of government we have found to be in consonance with our experience, and with the necessary modification capable of permitting a fair play of social forces and allowing the people to conduct the presidential system.

It must be noted that I do not oppose a parliamentary form of government per se.  I simply would support it only as a last resort, i.e., when all reforms under a presidential federal system (e.g., the establishment of an electoral college to elect the president and a Senate elected by regional legislatures instead of at large) fail, but I digress.

Resiliency

Third, America’s system has proven to be the most resilient.  Constitutional law Professor Hugh Hewitt points out:

The work of collective genius that is the Constitution has been tested by everything from an actual civil war that claimed 600,000 lives to various panics, two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Great Recession, not to mention impeachments and assassinations, political-judicial meltdowns like Florida in 2000, and dozens of scandals—and it does not break.  It is more resilient than any other modern constitution, a remarkable, nearly perfect balance of competing powers and separated authorities that has endured and will endure.  Those who fear it is off the road and in the ditch have to ignore history’s many examples of America righting itself after trauma and setback.

Consider America’s progress in the abolition of slavery, suffrage for women, and civil rights for blacks, all of which happened within 229 years of the establishment of the U.S. government.  In spite of such turbulent occasions, the world’s oldest written supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, remains largely intact.  Contrast that with our three Philippine constitutions—of 1935, 1973, and 1987—all promulgated and implemented within a single century.  Additionally, President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the specter of a revolutionary government, which all betokens the instability of the Philippine government.

Unequivocal Language

Fourth, the language of the U.S. Constitution is very clear in distinguishing the powers of the federal government from that of the states.  Article 1, Section 8 enumerates the federal powers:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…To borrow Money on the credit of the United States…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes…To coin money…To establish Post Offices and post Roads…To raise and support Armies.

The Tenth Amendment, the last of the Bill of Rights, betokens the threshold at which the states (or the people) are sovereign, which is the cornerstone of federalism.  It states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.”  The American founder and principal author of the Constitution, James Madison, elaborates on the nature of these powers in Federalist 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace negotiation, and foreign commerce . . . The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state.

Indeed, it is those “few and defined” powers of the federal government which accounts for a simple, comprehensible, and short constitution.  Contrast that with our lengthy constitution of 1987, which manifests a government exceeding the size and scope imposed by America’s founders.

At the left is a printout of a 53-page copy of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, whereas to the right is a single replicated page of the U.S. Constitution.

Nullification

Fifth, America’s founders brilliantly concocted two checks as a remedy for the states to counter an overreaching or tyrannical national government.  The remedies are state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws and an Article V Convention of States (COS).  The former is, according to Jefferson, “the rightful remedy” against “all unauthorized acts done” by the national government and was executed effectively in defiance of a federal embargo, the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.  In my commentary entitled The Peak of Tyranny and End of Its Destruction, I cited two more recent examples in which Montana, Alabama, and Wyoming amended their state constitutions, nullifying Obamacare.

In defiance to President Barack Obama’s executive orders to banning certain types of firearms, several governors, state legislators, and sheriffs have taken measures to quell or nullify any presidential decree, which did not conform to their own state’s gun regulations.  Some legislators have gone so far as to prepare legislation which would criminalize any attempt of federal agents to enforce the new federal gun ownership restrictions.  One sheriff in Oregon (Tim Mueller) even wrote a letter to Vice President Joe Biden in which he declared that neither he nor his deputies would enforce any federal gun law, which he deems unconstitutional.  Among the states which exercised such recalcitrant acts were Mississippi, Kentucky, Oregon, Minnesota, Alabama, Tennessee, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Florida, and Texas.

Convention of States

In Federalist 85, Hamilton alludes to the second remedy when he says, “. . . we may safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”  He is referring to assembling a Convention of States (COS), which is actually embodied in Article V of the U.S. Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ….

Put plainly and simply, thirty-four states of the U.S. must consent to deliberation in a convention of states (not a constitutional convention, which would be a formidable option) to propose constitutional amendments.  Thirty-eight states must ratify the amendments in order for them to become binding and effective.  In this way, the states can put the national government in check regardless of who occupies the presidency, Congress, or the Supreme Court.  As of this writing, twelve states have passed a COS resolution.  Furthermore, the aforementioned remedies as state nullification and an Article V COS is essential in lawfully preserving federalism, while precluding “mob rule.”

Article 5: The Amendment Process in the U.S.

In the Philippine context, a clause pertinent to regional or state nullification of intrusive federal laws can and should be annexed to the draft constitution in order to preclude jurisdictional discrepancies, wherein both the regions and national government purport to defend and uphold the Constitution.  Unfortunately, such a clause is nonexistent in the U.S. Constitution, which has been the cause for the aforementioned discrepancies and can thus serve as an example of unintended consequences from which the Philippines can learn.  In terms of annexing a COS clause to the draft constitution, the number of regions needed for deliberation and ratification will be smaller than our U.S. counterpart, since the number of regions created and established via federalism will be significantly smaller than the fifty states of the U.S. (e.g., eleven pursuant to LDP Institute’s model and eighteen pursuant to RBH 8).

Based on Natural Rights

Sixth, it is the first written constitution based on our timeless, ubiquitous, natural rights, which intrinsically circumscribe the national government and betoken the vast range of our individual liberty.  Indeed, the U.S. Declaration of Independence (upon which America’s constitution is based) betokens man’s universal and intrinsic equality and endowment of “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Even the Philippine revolutionary and anti-colonialist Apolinario Mabini acknowledged such rights, stemming from “natural law,” when attributing the success of the U.S. government to the major work of two of its founders, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine:

The ruler’s success is always to be found in the adjustment of his practical measures to the natural and immutable order of things and to the special needs of the locality, an adjustment that can be made with the help of theoretical knowledge and experience. The source of all failures in government can therefore be found, not in (mistaken) theories but in unprincipled practices arising from base passions or ignorance. If the Government of the United States has been able to lead the Union along the paths of prosperity and greatness, it is because its practices have not diverged from the theories contained in the Declaration of Independence and of the Rights of Man, which constitute an exposition of the principles of natural law implanted by the scientific revolutions in the political field.

Furthermore, in spite of the ostensible advantages of federalism, it must be noted that it is not a “magic bullet” or the single, perfect solution to everything ailing the Philippines.  Rather it is a remedy to address certain issues, which, in order to have maximum positive impact, must be executed in concert with other measures, e.g., the enforcement of current laws, economic liberalization to curb protectionist policies and attract direct foreign investments, the adoption of an electoral college to elect the president, and cultural changes in order to cultivate an informed, disciplined, industrious, and active citizenry.  The latter is imperative, lest the electorate continues to elect incompetent or corrupt politicians, and that will occur under any system of governance.

In conclusion, my friends and countrymen, I have herein presented my reasons for supporting a shift to an American form of federalism or, at least, an adaptation therefrom to supplement Resolution of Both Houses No. 8.  I have also presented the safeguards to preserve such a system of governance to be included in the draft constitution.  With such clamor for positive change—namely, the rapid creation of new jobs, the alleviation of poverty and poverty-related crime, the curtailment of corruption, the end to secession of Mindanao, a new sense of pride and civic responsibility to a responsive government, and the liberty to choose one’s life with one’s feet—coupled with a president with an iron political will and desire for federalism, a constituent assembly can take the essential measures by which Alvarez’s May deadline for a plebiscite may be met—the same month in which America’s founders deliberated in the 1787 Constitutional Convention.  I now defer to the aforementioned Constitutional Commission to deliberate on behalf of We the People of the Republic of the Philippines.

Mabuhay ang federalismo!  Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

 Bibliographical References

  • Anastacio, Leia. (2016). The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Majul, Cesar. (1996). The Political and Constitutional Ideas of the Philippine Revolution. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.

Featured Photo Credit: philstar.com

My Concerns about a Duterte Presidency

Updated 6/05/16

By Marcial Bonifacio

My friends and countrymen, with Congress’ proclamation of Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th president of the Philippines (clenching 16,601,997 votes), I wish to convey some of my concerns.  I have posed them based on his proposals, actions, and what he has said publicly.  Such issues should be sufficiently addressed before any of our kababayans give him our full support.

First and foremost, the president must protect and defend the Constitution and respect the rule of law.  According to Article III, Sect. 1 of the Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”  Duterte’s Davao Death Squad has executed over 1,000 alleged drug lords and murderers, all of whom were denied the fundamental right to due process.  Duterte expresses no remorse and is even boastful he will continue that policy under his presidency.

He was even unapologetic for his daughter (Sara Duterte), who attacked and physically assaulted Davao City Sheriff Abe Andres a few years ago.  Ironically, both Dutertes were attorneys, reinforcing the idiom that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  Such uncivil acts are slippery slopes to more lawless behavior, are they not?  How can we feel safe and certain that Duterte will not infringe on our own rights and liberty due to his thirst for criminal blood or impulsive temperament?

Second, several factors, including self-reliance and free enterprise, are essential to transforn the Philippines into a prosperous nation.  Unfortunately, Duterte does not seem to promote any of those principles.  On the contrary, he is a self-avowed socialist, who proposes to expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.  That would only perpetuate what Sen. Dick Gordon said is “the attitude of mendicancy among our people, which we have had more than enough over the last four centuries or so.”  I would add that such handouts (derived from hardworking taxpayers) would also prolong unemployment and encourage the systematic development of a welfare state.

Even more alarming is Duterte’s sympathy towards communists.  That is apparent in his proposals to designate cabinet posts to communists, grant amnesty to NPA prisoners, and end the exile of Jose Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines.  Duterte’s campaign manager, Leoncio Evasco Jr., was even a member of the NPA (New People’s Army).

Could Duterte himself be a communist?  If not, then why is he negotiating with them and inviting them to join the national government?  For someone known for his stringent form of justice (earning him the international reputation Time Magazine branded as “The Punisher”) even to the point of proposing the return of the death penalty by hanging, is it not inconsistent for him to be so lenient with terrorists who seek to overthrow our government?

My friends, I appreciate Duterte’s forthright oratory and maverick predisposition in opposing the oligarchy.  Such can also be said of the American presidentiable Donald Trump, but I digress.  Anyway, appealing rhetoric and opposition to the ruling class alone are insufficient in determining a suitable president. If they were sufficient, then it can be argued that Vladimir Lenin (Bolshevik leader of Russia), Fidel Castro (president of Cuba), and Robert Mugabe (president of Zimbabwe) should be heralded as great public servants.  However, history indicates otherwise, and until my concerns are sufficiently addressed, I must deduce that Duterte will be no different.

Comments
Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz

Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz Let’s just watch and wait for the outcome of his leadership as The President. Give him the benefit of the doubts and consider his achievements in Davao City. May God save our Country and people for whatever consequence we may face for his actions and laws he will implement. I know he is capable to lead but my fear is his inconsistency and the people he has chosen for the cabinet position. Remember the past history my friend … the failures of great leaders lies on his men and the people whom they trusted. God have mercy.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Jocelle, my issue with Duterte is not that I don’t trust him, but that he will continue with his extra-judicial executions, of which he is boastful.

Are you disappointed that he has denied Leni Robredo the National Anti-Poverty Commission post?

Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz

Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz I am disappointed of his inconsistency and giving way for BBM due to “utang na loob” now assigning him as being the president assistant. Proving that he recognize BBM as the VP.

Dodong Aberca

Dodong Aberca CONCERN? NOT ME IDIOTS

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Jocelle, are you referring to the alliance between Rodrigo Duterte’s father and Pres. Marcos or the financial contributions BB Marcos made to the Duterte campaign for his presidential run?

Dodong Aberca

Dodong Aberca no…….it is true….so u must dbg shares

Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz

Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz Kaibigan my apology … I choose to just be silent but be vigilant in observing and watchful for the outcome of the leadership of our new elect President. Praying he will acknowldege God above all and put my people’s welfare as well our Country first. God bless him and The Philippines.

Philip Basilio

Philip Basilio God help the Philippines

Hill de Roberts

Hill de Roberts No comment–I’ll wait after his first 100 days 🙂

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Very well, my friend. Do you at least have anything to say about his insensitivity to the female missionary, who was raped and murdered, Hill?

Paul Farol

Paul Farol My friend, I’ll give him enough rope to hang himself with.

But here’s the thing, on the other side of this thing are the yellowtards who have all but proven to be much, much worse than the people they replaced.

We hit Digong, the yellowtards get stronger. We are currently at an impasse.

As much as it pains me to say this, we have to make this presidency work.

If, despite our sincere efforts to help this presidency succeed and it fails, PDiggity will have no one to blame but himself.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Paul, I really don’t know which is worse. On the one hand, we have a president surrounded by politicians, who seem either corrupt or inept in dealing with our country’s age-old problems. On the other hand, we have another perfectly capable president-elect who may be able to finally resolve those issues. However, he would maintain peace and order by suppressing our people’s most fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. At least, Pres. Marcos did so under martial law.

Dodong Aberca

Dodong Aberca r u freak this man hasn’t started yet!!!

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Dodong, I can only judge someone according to his track record. Perhaps Duterte seeks to revive the death penalty in order to deter current criminals and potential criminals, making the extra judicial killings obsolete. That would be a compromise I am willing to concede.

Biernes Atrece

Biernes Atrece Very well said, kaibigan

Joseph Hinds

Joseph Hinds Marcial, I share some of your concerns, but it is far too soon to tell what President-elect Duterte is going to do. He seems to be something of a chess player and a gambler when it comes to politics, so his methodology may be a bit unorthodox. At least in his case, we can see the results he achieved in Davao City. He may very well have broken some eggs, but the omelet turned out well. The extra judicial killing presents something of a conundrum because the judicial system has become so corrupt that the syndicates, oligarchs and drug lords can buy their way out of trouble even in the face of damning proof of guilt. If the system of laws no longer works for justice, then is it really an injustice when other means are used? Likewise the acceptance of the communists at the cabinet level is a novel approach. The Philippines have had a running war with the CPP for almost 50 years and have still not succeeded in getting rid of them. Perhaps by including them in the political process at the cabinet level, their position as revolutionaries can be undermined and cause them to loose some of their appeal to their followers. They may also be more willing to disavow violence in order to retain their new found political relevance. Also, I not so sure that a little socialism in the Philippines would be a bad thing. I think it would be to the benefit of the average citizens to have the power company’s monopolies either opened to foreign competition or simply nationalized. It is ridiculous that electric rates in the Philippines are three times what they are in the USA and they still get hit with regular brown-outs. Let’s let DU30 have his chance. It’s not as if his predecessors have set the benchmark very high.

Evangeline Mejia

Evangeline Mejia very well said sir!!!exactly my thoughts…may I share your comment?

Joseph Hinds

Joseph Hinds Yes Evangeline, feel free to share if you wish

Evangeline Mejia
Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Joseph, your points are well taken. However, on the issue of dealing with the communists, I think that it would be better if Duterte implement his proposals to liberalize the economy and establish a Philippine federalist system. That would serve as the basis for a long-term plan to create jobs and promote competition, which would lower prices and provide better services.

Such a successful economy would crowd out the communists without appeasement or bloodshed. Offering them cabinet posts reminds me of Pres. Obama appointing Van Jones (member of the Communist Party) as “Green Czar.”

In terms of a little socialism in RP, I think that at least on a subsistence level as food and medical services, it is reasonable for the destitute. I also appreciate Duterte’s proposal to improve internet services:

http://news.abs-cbn.com/…/duterte-improve-internet…

Joseph Hinds

Joseph Hinds You might be right about the communists, but Van Jones and his friends weren’t killing people on a regular basis so there is a considerable distinction between the two examples. An improving economy will help without a doubt, but it will take a while for that to reach fruition, so perhaps we can look at this as a stop-gap measure to quell the violence in the short term.

Perci Lozano Piña

Perci Lozano Piña Hindi ko po nagustuhan yung comment nya about sa Media.

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Dexter Neil Ramos

Dexter Neil Ramos Because you didnt make yourself to understand what the presidenr meant. media are always dont ynderstand the point what duterte mean. We davaoneos understand him what he said. not all media is generalize. Some media to those practicing unethical.

Jose Camano

Jose Camano its duterte who is very unethical — unfortunately he was elected President by people who want a change in the govt. without having to change themselves. vote buying was rampant from all sides..

Paul Farol
Paul Farol

Paul Farol This was the quote by gma7

Paul Farol's photo.
Jose Camano

Jose Camano Paul Farol What’s wrong with you Farol? Who says that a journalist was silenced because he was a crook, or because he was crusading? Everytime Duterte silences small time “violator” of the law, he would claim the victim was a drug pusher or snatcher. Obviously u just have to believe Duterte’s word for it. Without a process, nobody knows that the victim was a real criminal or just someone whose face Duterte doesn’t like.

Perci Lozano Piña

Perci Lozano Piña Ito na naman tayo sa “We davaoneos” stop regionalism po.

Paul Farol

Paul Farol Jose there’s nothing wrong with me, i’m just citing what was said by PDiggity and what was said by another journalist who viewed the press conference.

Thing is, I’ve met a lot of hao shao/acdc journos and I know their MOs. I also know of at least two who were involved in shady deals that were later assassinated by people they double crossed.

We can’t paint people angels and devils, it’s a much more complex situation that someone, from the outside, can comprehend.

Paul Farol

Paul Farol And yes, I am interested to know of the cases where Digong had a reporter killed based on false accusations of being a druggie or drug dealer. If there is any evidence, I would gladly confront him with it.

I never liked Duterte, btw. In fact I gave him a good bashing all through out the campaign period and even before that.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Perci, to be fair to Duterte, he clarified that he was referring to the corrupt journalists who accepted bribes, only to later oppose the ones who gave them money. He does not advocate the murders, but he says they are to be expected from basically double crossing the ones paying the bribes.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio However, his catcalling to the journalist Mariz Umali was certainly inappropriate and perhaps illegal. According to Davao City Ordinance No. 5004 (which he signed), whistling can be construed as sexual harassment.

http://www.rappler.com/…/135111-duterte-catcalling…

Jeffry Dy

Jeffry Dy Is catcalling again an issue jeez get real this bs had been there the whole time and in the Us i believe its legal whether this is legal or not this nonsense reporting has to move on and get on the real objectives at hand like whats in store for digong since many are still doubting him for being pro china and such and Can we be venezuela(again)on his federal form of gov as what bashers still installing in our minds???Well find out and also i may suggest to have all of transpo and public hubs free wifi to have convience of passengers and also for communication and I may say he had the guts to do so and i believe this has to end on this alleged pro commie since i voted for him and has the same accomplishments of what dick did in Subic.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Jeffry, I agree that the issues you raised are important, but if Duterte will not follow his own ordinance (which is fairly simple), how can we trust that he will respect and follow more serious laws? There is even talk of a potential Duterte dictatorship:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/…/most-powerful-ph-leader…

newsinfo.inquirer.net|By Gil C. Cabacungan
Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Gordon can address all of those issues within the restraints of the law. He can definitely be trusted.

Jeffry Dy

Jeffry Dy I don’t think so plus he’s Pro left therefore as such he may not be a patientlike dick does but he’s definitely a pro poor and he addresses his laws at hand since many are still criticized him again on this bs bias on media freedom and a former prosecutor(not a radical left)

Jeffry Dy

Jeffry Dy also he joined edsa 1 right?if he’s pro makoy then he wouln’t rallied this dictatorship had it for so long it had to be arrested for having allies w npa which aquinos are also sided on and I’m just balanced on this matter so far only some unknown politicians and a card leaning leftist are in the gov so we can no longer see them rallying in the streets anymore since every presidents have a sona every year

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio Jeffry, I’m willing to give Duterte a chance. However, his leftist background and apparent coddling of communists makes me very suspicious. Also, I don’t consider policies which keep our kababayans dependent on government handouts “pro-poor”, unless you mean keeping them permanently poor. On the other hand, Sen. Gordon stresses job opportunities, which will raise people out of poverty. What can be more “pro-poor” than that?

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio On the issue of Duterte joining EDSA 1, perhaps he opposed the Marcos dictatorship because it did not conform to his own political ideology. After all, Pres. Marcos vehemently opposed the communists. Some even argue that he was the reason for the swelling of the NPA.

Also, many argue that the Marcos oligarchy was simply replaced with the Cory Aquino oligarchy. Therefore, Duterte’s participation in the first People Power Revolution doesn’t necessarily mean he opposes dictatorship; it only proves he opposed the Marcos dictatorship.

Dale Gozar
Dale Gozar Marcial Bonifacio
Duterte admitted he’s leftist but never been part of the Communist Party or rebel, and certainly don’t belong to NPA, NDF, etc. even if he has befriended them (Singson)
Duterte also think solution to our insurgency problems (Communist or Moro) is largely political and not military or use of arms – 47 years of conflict with gunbattles proved that.

Communist/Moro arms struggles occurs when there’s a Very Big gap between RICH and POOR due to corruption and exploitation by the oligarch of the common Filipino – with only the rich getting richer while the poor gets poorer.

FYI
North Korea is the only remaining communist country.
Yes he values the lessons learned from former communist and socialist countries. But it doesn’t mean he will adopt a communist government.

Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio On the issue of India’s growing population, the country is becoming increasingly prosperous. According to Forbes:

India is the world’s 4th largest IT start-up hub with more than 3,100 tech startups in the past year alone. It ranks second in worldwide food production. Its auto industry churns outs 22 million cars a year, making it one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. It boasts a $600 billion retail market and is one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets.

http://www.forbes.com/…/india-asias-next-economic…/…

RP is abundant in natural resources and an educated, English-speaking workforce. What it lacks are job opportunities and sufficient foreign direct investment. If Gordon were in Duterte’s presidential position, he would do precisely what he did in Subic Bay, which was all lawful and constitutional. He would also lift trade restrictions similar to India.

forbes.com|By Ed Fuller
Jeffry Dy

Jeffry Dy so by contrast du30 hasn’t have any clue on how to regulate trade restrictions and I had an Indian friend on fb who is critical of moodi because most of India’s tech he said was defective and also his Us trips as well http://www.dailyo.in/…/bjp-modi…/story/1/7763.html What i said was pro-poor because the poor themselves getting opportunities to see how he can handle things when he accomplished in Davao and many voted on him because of that even the tulfo bros the respectable tough talking journalist in media believes on his accomplishments too.Well I respect your opinion on not giving him a chance on this and thanks for having exchange of ideas in regards to du30 leadership you have yours i have my side and as such you make things balanced and constructive.

Perci Lozano Piña

Perci Lozano Piña So yung namatay sa Maguindanao nabayaran din ba yun or kurakot din?

Cha Aguilar

Cha Aguilar http://interaksyon.com/…/marie-yuvienco–first-things…

Whatever it is, I can only hope it is not grounded on settling scores or paying political debts. As he himself…
interaksyon.com
Marcial Bonifacio

Marcial Bonifacio That is an interesting article related to Gordon and Estrada, Cha. However, I disagree with the writer’s last point. I hope Duterte does implement some of his proposals, just not all of them. 🙂

Philip Basilio

Philip Basilio Sana unahin bitayin ang mga lumapastangan Sa bansa Sa malawakan pagnanakaw panloloko at pandaraya Sa halalan 2016

Jeffry Dy

Jeffry Dy Sana nga at etong si daldallima ay umeeksena naman hayy naku naman oh!

Oscar Saddul

Oscar Saddul TRUTH & CONSEQUENCE !!! ………. INKLING IN 6 MONTHS !!!

Oscar Saddul
Hill de Roberts
Hill de Roberts Quite frankly, I have NO concerns. What the corrupt Media say is either malicious news, innuendos and scare-mongering. I will wait and observe and give my ownobservation from July 1st, in the next 100 days of his term.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs · Edited

A Tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal Before Making a Toast to 2016

Ni Marcial Bonifacio

Mga kaibigan at kababayan ko, malapit na ang Bagong Taon. Para sa maraming tao, iyon ay simula ng bagong taon, upang ang mga sariling pagbabago ay mangyayari. Para sa ibang tao, iyon ay simulan ng bagong Pilipinas. Sa katotohanan, the latter was more applicable to Dr. Jose Rizal, who on December 30, 1896, was taken by his captors to Bagumbayan where he was executed by a firing squad. Ito ang huling dalawang taludturan galing sa kanyang tula “Mi Ultimo Adios”:

‘My idolized Country, for whom I most gravely pine,

Dear Philippines, to my last goodbye, oh, harken

There I leave all: my parents, loves of mine,

I’ll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen

Where faith does not kill and where God alone does reign.

 Farewell, parents, brothers, beloved by me,

Friends of my childhood, in the home distressed;

Give thanks that now I rest from the wearisome day;

Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, who brightened my way;

Farewell, to all I love. To die is to rest.’

Samakatuwid mga kaibigan ko, when you all raise your champagne glasses to toast para sa bagong taon, let us also do so in honor of a great patriot who never had the opportunity to see his vision fulfilled—a vision on which his work and death were based—ang bagong Pilipinas.

rizal-execution

Mabuhay si Dr. Jose Rizal!  Mabuhay ang Bagumbayan!  Maligayang Bagong Taon!

(last modified on December 30, 2016)

Comments
Figo Cantos
Figo Cantos salamat ka marcial! 🙂

Refoj Lap Tan
Refoj Lap Tan salamat sa tagged. much appreciated. happy new year.

Refoj Lap Tan
Refoj Lap Tan “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay daig pa ang isang malansang isda.” Mga katagang iniwan ng ating Pambansang Bayani Dr. Jose Rizal. It’s the 150th death anniversary the time he was executed in bagumbayan (Luneta.) Long live the Philippines and Dr. Jose Rizal.
Evangeline Mejia
Evangeline Mejia Is his vision really fulfilled, a free Philippines?…free from colonizers maybe,BUT NEVER FROM TYRANTS AND GREEDY POLITICIANS, who until now oppress the common Filipinos. I will not raise my glasses to toast until these oppressors step down, I’d rather pray for my country not only for the new year but everyday…
Lyn Cerdan
Lyn Cerdan Maraming salamat Ka Marcial
Evangeline Mejia
Evangeline Mejia pero maraming salamat Kaibigang Marcial for reminding us there were heroes like JPR who gave his life for this country…Mabuhay ang mga bayani…Mabuhay pa rin ang PILIPINAS!
Mikee Cortez
Mikee Cortez kasalukuyan ay sumasakit ang ulo ko, hindi ako makapagcomment. lol Kaibigang Marcial, maraming salamat sa tag. talagang isang dakilang bayani si Jose Rizal. cheers to 2011!
Roji Cabigao Serapio
Roji Cabigao Serapio maging isang Rizal tayo at ibahagi ang kamalayan na hangad niya para sa bansang Pilipinas. Happy new year!
Pinky Amador
Pinky Amador thanks for the tag, very well said!
Len I. Yap
Len I. Yap Happy New Year, Ka Marcial! Habang may new year, may pag-asa. =)
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Eva, kaibigan ko, naiintindihan ko mga punto mo, nguni’t in due time everything will fall into place. The Chinese say that a jouney of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Marahil we have taken a few na.
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Mga kaibigan ko, any burden which will befall us in our effort to pave the way para sa ang next generation can only be minimal compared to those brave heroes who gave their lives.
Ed Tongco
Ed Tongco Best wishes to everyone for the coming New Year!
Jocel Mendoza
Jocel Mendoza Huge thanks for the people who fought for this beautiful country. Here’s to us having a better year ahead! Cheers!
Steffan Almazan
Steffan Almazan · Friends with Dara Mi Contiga

toast ako dyan mga kababayan ko.

See Translation

Marcial Bonifacio
Jose Camano
Jose Camano You cannot capture the elegance of his prose and poems by translating his Castillan masterpiece into English.. MI Ultimo Adios is better read in its original text. Though we may not be 100 percent knowledgeable in Spanish– you can hear the melody of his poem if read in its untranslated version.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano As my high teacher said, Spanish language is the most beautiful language in the universe.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano Mi patria idolatrada, dolor de mis dolores, Querida Filipinas, oye el postrer adiós.
Ahí te dejo todo, mis padres, mis amores.
Voy donde no hay esclavos, verdugos ni opresores,
Donde la fe no mata, donde el que reina es Dios.

Adiós, padres y hermanos, trozos del alma mía,
Amigos de la infancia en el perdido hogar,
Dad gracias que descanso del fatigoso día;
Adiós, dulce extranjera, mi amiga, mi alegría,
Adiós, queridos seres, morir es descansar.See Translation

Jen Baloloy
Jen Baloloy DJR sana maraming kagaya mo dito sa Bansang pinaglaban mo… At hindi puro pera/kapangyarihan ang nangingibabaw 🙁 *Thanks Marcial sa pag translate and praying that everyone will remember and follow what DJR contributed to our beloved country.See Translation
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Ang galing, Attorney Camano! Naisip ko tama ka tungkol sa wikang Spanish. Gayunman I prefer Tagalog sapagkat iyon ay makabayan.
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Sang ayon ako, Jen. Such a simple observation can alter the consciousness of our kababayans, which, in turn, may positively alter the character of our country.
Jose Camano
Jose Camano English speaking and Spanish speaking Filipinos do not make them less a patriot. Rizal is the epitome of an intelligentsia that speaks lots of tongues but he didn’t write his obra in Filipino — he wrote it in the language that can be understood by the oppressors. Language is never a benchmark for patriotism.
Jen Baloloy
Jen Baloloy I agree with you Jose…
Marcial Bonifacio
Marcial Bonifacio Hahaha! Nakapagtuturo ang iyong kuru-kuro, Atty. Camano. Talaga, I cannot dispute your perspicacious perspective.