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Saturday, July 14, 2018


Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday said that federal system of the government pushed by President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte is just a "Trojan Horse," that it is a ranking prelate. He said that it only serves as a smokescreen for the President to take "total control" of the country.

“Duterte is presenting federalism as the magic wand to bring about prosperity to the whole country. This claim is at best dubious. But the way to bring about federalism is the change of the present Constitution, Cha-cha (Charter change), in short,” Pabillo said.

“I see that federalism as the Trojan horse, the smokescreen in order to bring about Cha-cha, which is the formula for total control of the country. It is a control that is backed up by the new constitution they are proposing. We do not yet know this new constitution but knowing the people who are behind this – Duterte and his minions – and knowing who will craft this – the present Congress convened as a constitutional assembly – we can already guess where this is heading. It will spell disaster for the Filipinos,” Pabillo added.

The bishop said that it is not the right time for this country to amend the Constitution due to the unconducive atmosphere of the country to a critical participation; bullying and culture of fear have been promoted by Duterte and that the 1987 Constitution is not perfect and still needs to be improved. Pabillo reiterated that Filipinos should still say no to the maneuvers of a Charter Change.  That those people behind the cha-cha are not transparent, no proper consultation and discussion and all they just want is the plebiscite that should be done this year.

“There is a strong suspicion that the haste is to avoid the election of 2019 so that those in the office can remain. He did not keep his word and continues to be the President, so it is difficult to believe that he would keep his word this time around,”- Pabillo said.

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