Random thoughts | A political surgery

“THE shift in political structure is major surgery. What benefits will federalism bring, and by what means will they materialize? Which limbs or organs will the surgeons amputate? What foreign elements will they implant? How much will the operation cost? How long is the expected period of convalescence?  The doctors prescribing the cure have not yet given a comprehensive explanation of the process to the patient.” (Edilberto C. de Jesus, Con-ass for federalism?, BUSINESS MATTERS, Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 13, 2018).

-oOo-

Professor de Jesus is professor emeritus at the Asia Institute of Management. I like the way Prof. de Jesus compared Constitutional reform to a medical surgery. First, you have the patient which is our present flawed, unresponsive and oppressive Cory’s Constitution. Second, you have the surgeons, which should be the 50 Wise Flipino members of the the Constitutional Commission (Con-Com) to be appointed by the President Duterte, NOT the Con-Ass people are talking about. This is possible thru RevGov in a democratic way.

Third, The Constitutional provisions that will be “operated on” are: 1) Political Structure plus Strengthening of the Political Parties provisions and 2) Socio-Economic System plus strengthening further of social security and social justice provisions. Fourth, the Con-Com operating cost would not be more than P500 Millions while the yearly operational cost of a Federal State/Region is about P3 Billion. A nationwide plebiscite will cost about P5 Billion. Of course these are only rough estimates.

Fifth, the benefits of federalism emmerated by the Citizens Movement for a Federal Philippine (CMFP) are:

  1. It is a just and enduring government system for peace and unity in diversity.
  2. It will empower the citizenry to fight criminalities, corruption and poverty.
  3. It will greatly improve governance and achieve more equitable representation.
  4. It will hasten and balance the development of our country.
  5. A Federal System with a Parliamentary Form of Government will promote development program-oriented political parties that are responsible and accountable to the people.
  6. It will broaden and deepen democracy and improve institutions.

In the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago (KPP) Pilipino Praymer listed down 16 benefits we can achieve thru a Federal System.

Sixth, The “convalescence” or transition period in our shift to a Federal System is about three years if no complication occurs.

Prof. de Jesus cautioned us: “Prudence dictates that anyone contemplating major surgery seek a second and third opinion: to review the soundness of the diagnosis; assess the aptness of the proposed cure; and EVALUATE THE SURGEOUS INTEGRITY AND SKILL (capitalization mine). This precaution comes especially with the possibility that the doctors may profit from the surgery.” Very well said Sir.

As to the soundness of the diagnosis and aptness of the proposed cure, these already have been studied and restudied over five decades now by Federalists from different disciplines. Anent the surgeons’ integrity and skill please see our article “Wanted: 50 Wise Filipinos” which explains your serious concern and ours on this matter.

In addition, the “Con-Ass hospital” is not properly manned to do an honest-to-goodness, political surgery on Cory’s Constitution. Hence, the “patient” is rightly transferred to the “Con-Com hospital” properly created by President Duterte thru RevGov in a democratic way.

-oOo-

We are recommending Prof. A. De Jesus to be a member of the 50-man/woman Constitution Commission (Con-Com) that Pres. Duterte may create to draft our new Federal-Parliamentary Constitution for approval of  our people. Prof. De Jesus expertise will be very useful especially in the area of organization and management we think.

Posted in Opinion