Church urged: Act against Duterte camp’s federalism bid

Church urged: Act against Duterte camp’s federalism bid

Former Congressman Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño talks about the crucial role of the Church in public discourse, at the National Discernment of Priests on their Prophetic Role Gathering, March 6, 2018. NICO BALBEDINA

By Christine Paguirigan

March 6, 2018

QUEZON CITY

A former Congressman urged the Church to act quickly against the proposed Charter Change, emphasizing the crucial role of the institution in the socio-political arena, during the National Discernment of Priests on their Prophetic Role gathering held March 6.

“The role of the people in the Church will be big, the CBCP must come out and dive for discernment and explain to the people why we need to oppose Charter Change,” former Congressman Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño told members of the clergy present.

He also expressed the concern that the public does not understand what Cha-Cha is about, noting that “[the people] only discuss federalism in the abstract, but how it will be exercised is not cleared.”

Step towards dictatorship?

According to Casiño, the main agenda of the Duterte administration for pushing Charter Change is federalism.

“Duterte’s Charter Change is a step towards dictatorship, a self-serving scheme for elites in power, a sell-out of the national economy and patrimony and an attack on social justice and human rights,” he stressed.

Casiño added: “The people must understand, take a stand, and we must fight, act! Whether in a moral or political stand point, it’s important we stop this.”

Charter Change and Federalism

The former congressman further elaborated that people are not aware of the weight of the issue and how “dangerous” the proposed amendments are.

“All this looks good in paper, but how will this impact the country? Federalism will imply a shift to unitary government to a federal government and presidential to a parliamentary type of government,” he explained.

Continuing, he cited how political dynasty-dominated Philippines with a federal government will be “a step back from national unity to regionalism.”

“This is nothing new, many government have already tried [Charter Change].. but we have always stopped them by reuniting. At the end of the day, it is only the Filipinos who can stop this,” concluded the former legislator.

Organized by the National Clergy Discernment Group and themed “The Filipino Clergy’s Prophetic Ministry in the Context of the Current Philippine Situation,” the 2-day event runs from March 6 to 7 at Maryhill School of Theology along Gilmore Avenue in New Manila, Quezon City.