MANILA– Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Tuesday urged new members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party to keep an open mind on the plan of the Duterte administration to shift to a federal form of government.
Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, made this call during the mass oath-taking of new party members from the League of Municipalities Philippines (LMP) in Pampanga which was live-streamed on his official Facebook page.
He expressed hope that the new party members decided to join the party because of their shared ideology and support for programs of the government and not merely to capture political power.
The senator explained that the party wanted the Philippines to shift to a federal form of government for they believe it could spur progress.
We want federalism because the party believes that we can progress faster as a people and a country under federalism. In simple terms, it is the local government code put in the Constitution, Pimentel said.
Let us experiment because we want to see accelerated economic progress within our lifetime, he added. ‘Wag natin masyadong katakutan ang adoption ng federal form (Let’s not be afraid of the adoption of a federal form of government).
Pimentel, meanwhile, allayed fears that federalism would be detrimental to the Philippines citing progressive countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the US which all run under a federal form of government.
We are not the only country amending its constitution. So maging bukas po tayo diyan (So let’s be open to it), he added.
Also present during the mass oath-taking ceremony were PDP-Laban Secretary General and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo among others.
Source: Philippine News Agency