Press Briefing

Press Briefing by Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan Presidential Communications Operations Office with President and Chairman of the Board Lito Monico Lorenzana Centrist Democracy Political Institute (CDPI)

Event Press Briefing
Location Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace

OPENING STATEMENTS:

ASEC. ABLAN: Good morning, Rocky. Good morning Malacañang Press Corps. Magandang umaga po sa lahat.

I am pitching in for Spokesman Ernie Abella and Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag this morning. All right, let’s start.

As part of the series of briefings on federalism, we are pleased to have today Mr. Lito Monico Lorenzana.

Mr. Lorenzana is the President of the Centrist Democracy Political Institute or CDPI, a political, non-profit organization, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Philippines, a German political foundation which promotes political education initiatives worldwide.

He is the Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines or CDP. He was the Chairman of the 2006 Advocacy Commission and Secretary-General of the 2005 Consultative Commission tasked to revise the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

He has served under four Philippine presidents in various capacities, as a member of the Cabinet and several commissions.

He has served… Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let us all give a warm welcome to Mr. Lito Lorenzana.

Mr. Lorenzana: Thank you very much, Asec. Kris, Ms. Rocky.

I was warned by Ms. Rocky to speak to you in Taglish. But you see, I am from Davao and I am a Bisaya. And ang amin sa Davao, matitigas ang aming dela.

So, I will speak therefore in Taglish and maybe a little French, okay?

So I would like to thank Usec./Asec. Kris — Asec. Kris, and to thank Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Ernie Abella for this opportunity to present to the Malacañang Press Corps — to you people — our position on federal parliamentary.

First, we’d like to introduce ourselves better. We are members of a national political party, the Centrist Democratic Political Party (CDP), that just celebrated our first anniversary the other day, September 12.

We started in Mindanao, particularly Davao, as a motley group of several NGOs and political movements decades back that morphed into what we are now.

In the political spectrum, we situate ourselves in the broad center, from left of center to a little bit of right. Our ideological profile is encapsulated in our core value, human dignity, and the [inaudible] thereof.

We were originally called Christian Democrats. We later got the appellation “Christian,” substituting it for “Centrists” in order to attract Muslims in the political adherence of other faiths and even atheists.

Our pedigree goes a long way back to the 1960’s. I don’t think any of you were born then, during the time of Raul Manglapus, a few of us were recruited by him when we were still in college, mostly from the Ateneo.

This, therefore, is also my confession, and I suspect many of you already know, that I am over 30 years old. And I intend to take ride — or to ride herd over our political party, the CDP, for at least the next 30 or 40 years, until we assume political power, which we hope.

Now, you have a copy of my talk, and with it, we produced a PowerPoint — a PowerPoint presentation to stress some important facts.

You know, over countless speaking engagements I had, I find it colorful images accompanying narratives are much better retained than just the auditory portion of a speech.

So to the main speech, President Digong or President Rodrigo Duterte, the first Mindanaoan President, rode on federalism as his campaign slogan. Although its impetus was the demand for the Mindanaoans to extricate themselves from the political and economic dominance by the center.

This is also true for the Bisayas — the Bisaya, the Bicol — Bicolanos, and even the Tagalogs. Provinces, islands, and areas in the periphery of the epicenter of political universe based in Metro Manila.

The Muslim and Christian brothers have never been as closer today to fulfilling this decades-long dream of the abolition of the unitary system of government, a systemic anomaly perverting the concepts of democratic good governance.

After almost a hundred years from the American Commonwealth to the present, thanks to this President we have now, we are at the cusp of achieving this change.

The popularity of federal parliamentary system rose almost singlehandedly to the sheer personality of a Mindanaoan who in his two decades as a local government executive, understood and suffered through the imbalances and discrepancies within the unitary system.

The voters took him and these concepts on faith. But for the shift to federal parliamentary to succeed, the beneficiary — the people — needs to know what’s in it for them before they buy into it.

After an aberrant unitary government practice over a century, long-embraced values of political patronage have permeated the body politic. This needs to be overhauled and new practices inculcated over time safeguarded by judicious laws.

We have several models of federalism already submitted to Congress. We are presenting to you today a model borne out of years of discernment and study.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005 issued Executive Order 453, establishing a 50-man commission to propose the revision on the 1987 Constitution. This was headed by Professor Pepe Abueva as Chairman and myself as Secretary-General.

This was submitted to Congress for deliberation. This was archived by Congress. We will not reinvent the wheel, so to speak. So we are presenting the 2005 Constitutional — or Consultative Commission documents, adopted and updated by our party, the Centrist Democratic Party — the Lakas Party of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and the Centrist Political Institute, the CDPI. We call this “The Centrist Proposals,” for short.

So The Centrist Proposals for the revision of the 1987 Constitution — this will be submitted to the 25-man commission to appointed — to be appointed by President Duterte some time in the next few days or weeks.

First, what we have today. What are we? We are a unitary presidential system. The Philippines is a sovereign state governed by a single entity. The central government is supreme and the administrative division or local government units, exercise only powers that the central government has delegated to them.

Central government is therefore ultimately the source of power, of course, upon the consent of a governed we.

And central government can choose to delegate, decentralize, and devolve powers, but at the same time can unalita — unilaterally revoke or take them back anytime. That is the feature of the unitary or unitary.

You also have today a presidential system where the Executive branch, led by the President, serves as head of state and head of government and executes the laws of the land. Such laws are legislated by a bicameral body of a Senate and House of Representatives and interpreted by the judiciary.

In theory, although the three branches of government are co-equal, in practice, the President is primus inter pares and in fact dominant. And this is the unitary parliament — ah, the unitary presidential system.

What do we want? And what are we proposing? We are proposing the federal parliamentary system. We want a system, ladies and gentlemen, where power and authority are not centralized but shared between the federal government and the states — we call these regions, sub-states.

This system allows states to develop themselves the way they see fit based on their culture and specific conditions. Some areas of public life are under the control of federal government like, for example, security and national defense; money and coinage; diplomacy and foreign affairs.

Some are left to the states: education, taxation, franchises, licenses, and permits. And some powers and authority are shared: raising taxes, borrowing money, criminal justice system. And these are all guaranteed in the Constitution.

We also want a shift from a presidential to a parliamentary government. Briefly, a parliamentary system is known as party government, as the political parties have ascendancy over personalities and because of the pivotal role of political parties in parliamentary elections, governance and public administrations.

In our proposal, the Centrist proposal, the legislative and the executive are fused — pinagsasama-sama ‘yan — we fuse them in a unicameral parliament, one body. And the head of government is the Prime Minister — with his Cabinet recruited among the members of parliament.

While the President is the head of state, symbolizing the state, and Commander-in-Chief in our proposal of all the armed forces, elected also from among the members of parliament, not elected universally.

The Prime Minister or the head of government can be booted out of office through a vote of no confidence, not the process of impeachment.

So that is in short the federal parliament system which we want. Now, while revising the 1987 Constitution — in the process of revising the Constitution, we have four preconditions and four critical conditions, this is very important.

One is a political party reform. We need real parties, not the type we have today or have had in the past several decades. Political parties are primarily formed not only to contest elections and to grab and hold power in government, but they must possess an ideological core aggregating the needs and aspirations of diverse segment of our society, differentiating each from the other to give the people a chance to choose what they want.

This reform can best be achieved through the passing of the Political Party Development and Financing Act. We have these laws already in Congress but have been archived for many, many years, because Congress does not want to come up with real political parties. This bill in Congress for several years — House Bill 49, House Bill 403, and 159, you can look that into your websites.

What will they do? First, we penalize turncoatism or the switching of political parties, the balimbings, the political butterflies, et cetera, et cetera.

Number two, it will enforce transparent mechanisms providing and regulating campaign financing to eliminate graft and corruption and patronage — this is very important — and also corporate and individual contributions, through state subsidy that will professionalize political parties by supporting their political education and campaign initiatives.

So that maski pobre ka, if you are very good, then the party will support you. So you don’t have to have the oligarchy support you, ‘di ba ‘no?

Second is to enact a law banning political dynasties as mandated in Article II Section 26 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. This will ban the concentration of powers by the dynastic families in the barangay, local and national positions.

If Congress will not again pass an enabling law, because 80 to 90 percent of Congress are members of dynasty, then what should be written in the revised Constitution should be banning the dynasty — should be self-executory. So Congress doesn’t have to do anything with it.

The third is the passage of a real all encompassing Freedom of Information Act — a bill — to enforce transparency in all transactions of government. Preventing the type of Napoles that will emerge.

This law will allow public access to information pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions and compel transparency and accountability in public service.

The fourth is very important, is initiate electoral reforms that will put in place a system that will not pervert the will of the populace.

Any system that adheres to the democratic principles should consider clean and fair elections — not necessarily honest — but clean and fair elections as imperatives.

The COMELEC must be reformed to remove all quasi-judicial work and transfer electoral contests and protests to the judiciary.

These four conditions have a high probability of passage while we have a President endowed with tremendous political capital and have the political will to act decisively.

Now, the more important thing I think which we should concentrate on is the roadmap and timelines.

If Congress will seriously start deliberating today in amending the 1987 Constitution and if the same will be ratified by 2019, the country will then start the process of federalization.

By all accounts, this is by far the most feasible timeline on the federalization of the Philippines.

Federalism is a journey. It cannot be done in one step but with several critical stages. We can’t adjust the Constitution or write the Constitution and the next day, we have a federal republic.

It is also not a one-time panacea to the ills of our society. It is a series of prescriptions that must be taken one after another for it to work.

So this is very important. It’s the first stage. The first stage is October 17, next month or today up to February 2019.

The Constitutional Assembly or Con-Ass, or Constitutional Convention will revise the Constitution targeting February 2019 plebiscite ratifying the new Constitution.

With this schedule, the Constituent Assembly or the Constitutional Convention, whatever the case may be, will have exactly one year and four months. That’s 16 months from today to write and submit the proposed new Constitution to the Filipino people for ratification.

The second stage, from May of 2020 to 2025. The first parliamentary elections under the new federal Constitution shall be conducted not later than May 2020.

To organize the first unicameral parliament under the newly-ratified Constitution with a term of five years up to 2025.

Then the incumbent President Duterte, now in a parliamentary form of government in 2022, shall continue — this is very important — shall continue his dual presidential role as head of state and at the same time as head of government leading and presiding over the new unicameral parliament. We need him still there up to 2022.

Now, the third stage is May of 2022 when in the old Constitution, he is supposed to step down. The President said he wants to step down.

By May 2022, President Duterte steps down as head of state and a new President elected by parliament to serve the remaining term of President Duterte. Or if the people want or then you put that — you provide that in the transitory provisions of the new Constitution that he will still serve up to that year, okay. This is a choice of the people.

The fourth stage, from May 2025 to 2030, the second regular parliamentary elections under the new Constitution is held by 2025 with a five-year term to 2030. We then have a new Prime Minister and a new President.

That is the shift to parliamentary. Mauuna ‘yang immediate shift to parliamentary. But the process of federalization goes on. The creation of autonomous territories leading towards a federal republic.

The first stage is also February 2019. Upon the ratification of the Constitution, a body or commission may be created by parliament to oversee the negotiations setting the parameters for the creation of the 11 autonomous territories — the CDP, the Centrist position calls for 11 autonomous territories.

Because the 12th autonomous territory, the Bangsamoro, will be constituted ahead of the Bangsamoro because of the Bangsamoro Basic Law enacted by Congress previous to the plebiscite. So mauuna siya.

So ang cry naming ngayon is, ang CDP cry is, “What is good for Bangsamoro is good for BangsaBisaya, BangsaIloco, BangsaTagalog.”

Now, parliament can then enact after the negotiations the new Constitution, the organic act of Bangsamoro and the other autonomous territories once they finish negotiations that are advanced in their negotiations and agreements.

Now, the second stage, from May 2020 to 2025. Remember, Digong is still our President there and after that, you’ll have 2028.

During this critical period, parliament shall guide and allow the evolution of provinces and highly urbanized cities from what it is today into autonomous territories first.

These local government units shall negotiate from among, with one another the establishment of their federal — future federal state based on their geographical location, population, history, language, cultural similarities, considerations of their natural resources and wealth, and the selection of the state capital.

The results of these negotiations shall be incorporated in detail and enacted in an organic law within a year of a petition to be subsequently approved by the constituents of the new formed autonomous territory in a referendum.

I think mauuna kami doon sa Davao. The three Davao provinces plus ComVal because we have more — we advance more. And we can negotiate and will be first or the second autonomous territory after Bangsamoro, hopefully.

Some of the provinces cities and cities will be ahead of the pack and some will be laggards. Therefore, the development of a federal republic will not be uniform.

All this need and will be guided — or will need time and guidance from parliament.

It is our intention that if 60 percent, three-fifths of the provinces and highly urbanized cities become autonomous territories with organic acts, and then the federal republic of the Philippines is created.

By reckoning, this will happen in 2028 or before 2028. But it doesn’t matter because as autonomous territories, they already operate like federal states.

They can raise their own funds. They can come up with their own resources. They can come up with their own taxes and spend for themselves.

Now, looking into the theoretical aspect of federalism and the models of successful federal governments in the world, the principles — and this is very important — the principles of self-determination, solidarity, autonomy, subsidiarity and cooperation between the national and the federal states and among the states themselves are essential to the sustaining a federal republic.

It has to be emphasized that it is not federalism when there is a central government imposing the body politic, the territories that will eventually compose a federal state.

It is a kind of federalism we aspire for where the people from cities and regions shall negotiate among themselves and arrive a decision to set up their own federal state.

 

So in conclusion ladies and gentlemen, federalism is indeed a complex process and may take several years before the country can fully implement it.

However, if we do not educate and involve ourselves in the debate now, then we will never learn and be able to help build our beloved nation as immediately as possible.

We need most especially to engage the millennials. A lot of people I see here are millennials, including myself, I suppose. We need most especially to engage them for they have the energy to manifest the positive changes we wish to take place in our history, in our society.

And lastly, we need an alert and knowledgeable citizenry that can compel this [inaudible] movement towards this common goal.

And in this end, we need massive political education throughout the country and this can only be achieved with all like-minded political parties and individuals who will turn their backs on differences and march forward on a single rhythm firm on resolution and clear on principles.

This roadmap, by the way, the Centrist roadmap to federalism is designed to mitigate the shock to the body politic arising from the purging of traditional political practices to the immediate passage of reform laws now pending in Congress.

Furthermore, the critical process of transition to a parliamentary federal republic has to be in place in the revised Constitution so the assurance of its continuity is safeguarded by the Constitution itself even beyond the term of the current President.

To reiterate, the Centrist roadmap, our roadmap, simply adapts to the exigencies of real change. “Tunay na Pagbabago,” the rallying slogan of the Digong. Accelerating change where feasible without unnecessarily upsetting institution and government services.

Salamat po sa inyong lahat and we are ready for questions and answers. Thank you.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir. Sir, you mentioned the possibility of Mr. Duterte extending his term to 2025.

  1. LORENZANA: Yes.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, why did you raise that option? And what benefit do we get if we opt for that?

  1. LORENZANA:Well, this is not really my option but you see, the point is that 40 years we have only one President who says that, “We need to have to shift to federal system of government.”

We tried out several times. During the time of GMA, during the time of Erap, we all failed. But we have a President who has political will. So we thought, “Why not a few years provided — provided — that that is what we want?” Okay.

That’s why we said, we suggest it so that that can be put in the transitory provision. Sabagay, it’s only ilang years lang ‘yan. From 2022 man lang eh when he is supposed to step down to 2022 to 2025.

But the President himself said, “No, I don’t want to. I want to rest already. I want to go back. I’m going to go home to Davao.” Okay, if you want to do that, good. Then let’s elect another President to take care of his term, ‘di ba.

Since there is no more Vice President in a parliamentary system, then we can have good people that can take his shoes, okay. So that… That is my answer there, hija.

Ms. Salaverria: Thank you.

Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Good morning, sir. Sir, how confident are you about your timeline? On how doable? Considering that’s there not — there’s not been much success in efforts to actually pass the measures.

  1. LORENZANA: Shiela ba pangalan mo? Ay, Ina. Sorry, Ina. Ina, how much am I confident?

Ms. Andolong: Considering that there’s not been much success in efforts to pass the measures pertaining to the critical conditions that you presented.

  1. LORENZANA: Look at my face, Ina. Do I think… Do you see that my confidence? I am very confident.

But I’d like to share this confidence with people like you also because hope springs eternal.

If we don’t do this now, who will? Hindi ba? So I am confident that we can do it. I’m 30 years old now. I intend to live for another 30 to 40 years to ride herd. ‘Di ba?

Ms. Andolong: Okay. Sir, for example, your condition for political party reform, you mentioned na “walang lipatan.” We see that very often among our politicians. And second also the dynasties, our President himself has previously said that he sees nothing wrong with political dynasties and in fact his own children are also in office.

  1. LORENZANA: Exactly. That’s why what I’m saying is that we have a President now who is mouthing this. And I like what I hear from him.

So let us support him. Let’s push the issue. Because if we don’t do that then we’re dead in the water. ‘Di ba?

Ms. Andolong: I’m sorry, sir. But he said he’s okay with political dynasty?

  1. LORENZANA: He is okay now. But you see, at the same time, he understands also that central to a good governance is totally the elimination of dynasty.

However, he also understands that if we go into a parliamentary system of government, parliamentary system of government is self-cleaning, okay? Self-cleaning also of political dynasty, especially when people vote only for political parties.

That’s why we have to reform our political parties. So that we don’t have to vote only for the actors and the boxers and the celebrities, okay? No offense intended to my friends who are actors.

Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, good morning po. All right, sir. How are you going to input all these proposals? Are you going to forward to a commission? Or this is just a proposal?

  1. LORENZANA: No we… This has been worked by the 2005 Constitution, in 2005 Con-Con pa ito during the time of GMA.

And we were the people there who have been trying to push this. We will push. We will work hard and then we will present to the 25-man committee or commission which the President said he was going to found ‘di ba?

And eventually, hopefully, they will be able to bring it up to the right people, especially Con-Ass or convention.

But then if we don’t precipitate the debate, that’s why we are presenting this in order to precipitate the debate. We have to understand the different sides.

So kayo and tayo, agree or not, doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we debate this. We have to clash. There has to be a clash of ideas, a thesis and anti-thesis. So we come up with a synthesis, ‘di ba?

The only way is to clash in order to come up with the best idea. A debate is very important here.

Mr. Morong: Sir, what’s going to happen to the local government units presently existing in our system?

  1. LORENZANA: The same. Until — As of now, after the… Pareho pa lang ‘yan. We have the provinces but they have, I said, in order to be federal or autonomous territory, they have to begin to negotiate, okay? Among themselves.

Saan ba territory natin? Anong wealth natin? ‘Di ba? So it takes sometime… That’s why it’s federalism —

Mr. Morong: No it will take a lot of time, sir, considering —

  1. LORENZANA: Yes, there’s a lot of time. Not necessarily a time because they have to understand. But this is not an overnight thing, ‘di ba?

Mr. Morong: Of course.

  1. LORENZANA: But for me, two to three years is okay. While we have a President who has the political will to ride herd on this, why not? ‘Di ba?

Mr. Morong: Sir, in practical terms what’s going to happen to say for example a congressman now and a congressman — or a governor of a certain district, maybe Region A, Region 1. What’s going to happen to their local leaders under your proposal?

  1. LORENZANA: Up to 20 — up to 2022, they’re still the same.

Mr. Morong: After?

  1. LORENZANA: After 2022. Then they become autonomous territory, they will nego — they will come up with a… Well, parliament will come up with an organic act actually. Ano ‘yung pinagusapan ninyo?

But classical — there are classical examples already. We will still have the local government. But, of course, with the governor will be already the governor of the state, hindi na ‘yung governor ng provinces. ‘Yun ang importante.

Like in the United States, there are 50 states, we have 50 governors. ‘Di ba? So the governor now will be the supreme in a state. This is what we want.

Mr. Morong: How do you propose to divide the country in several states?

  1. LORENZANA: Well, we have 11 states to be divided. We can show that.

Northern Luzon, Region 1 and 2; and then we have the Central Luzon. These are suggestions, ‘no. Because they have to negotiate. We have Southern Tagalog. We have Bicol area. We have the Palawan as a single state, malayo masyado.

But we have also Mindanao — Mimaropa or Marinduque as another state. And then you have Eastern Visayas which includes Leyte, Samar. We have Central Visayas, Bohol, Cebu, et cetera. Western Visayas.

And then in the Mindanao area, we have about three or four. We have the Northern Mindanao which may include Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Occidental, et cetera.

And then we have Southern Mindanao, the three Davao provinces, whereas ComVal and then we have the ARMM.

Mr. Morong: And then these federal states will elect the members, their own representatives to the parliament, yes?

  1. LORENZANA: Yes.

Mr. Morong: Who gets to run in these federal states?

  1. LORENZANA: From the ano ito — from the state. They will elect somebody to sit down in the parliament.

Mr. Morong: That will basically follow our present context, correct?

  1. LORENZANA: Yes.

Mr. Morong: So do you think we’re politically mature for this?

  1. LORENZANA: Well, at the maturity, unless you try it, you cannot be mature. ‘Di ba? Para lang ‘yang bata eh. If you do not let him go through the process. Hindi magiging mature ‘yan, forever baby ‘yan.

Mr. Morong: My question, sir, is more on representation.

  1. LORENZANA: No, the representation is basically the same. Based on population, okay? Based on population.

So let’s say in Davao, assuming we have an autonomous state of Mindanao. So we have maybe about 20 districts. Okay?

So ‘yung the district congressmen, will no longer be congressman but will be called MPs. Kuwan na ‘yan member of parliament.

And maganda pa diyan is that we have what we call a proportional representation in parliament. You have 70 percent of the elected parliament but 30 percent of that should be what we call a party-list. Hindi ‘yung kagaya natin party-list ngayon. Proportional representation.

Let’s say for example my party CDP. We’ll win 90 percent of the total votes then I have 90 percent of my lists in the party- list. Those party-list will be people who may be unknown but very good because pinili ‘yun ng partido, okay?

Maski pobre sila, bright sila, they will be in a party-list. So that’s proportional representation — it happens in a lot of countries eh.

Mr. Morong: But we will not… Will we not have the same dog with the different collar?

  1. LORENZANA: No, we have a different dog and a different collar.

Mr. Morong: Sir, just one last point. You mentioned that the Executive and Legislative power will be combined ‘no?

  1. LORENZANA: Will be fused.

Mr. Morong: Yes. What happens to the judicial branch?

  1. LORENZANA: It’s still branch there. The branch, the judicial branch interprets the law. But now it is easy. Wala ng sulpakan ‘yan eh because the executive and the legislative… The executives are Cabinets who are members of parliament see and it’s very, very ano ‘to.

Ten, 10 out of the best countries in the world are parliamentary federal except United States which is federal presidential.

The 10 worst countries in the world are presidential unitary. Among those are basically, nakakahiya nga eh. Among those are South Sudan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and North Korea.

Some of them are Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Angola. So these are the failures, the presidential unitary.

But the good ones, United… The good ones are practically Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, these are parliamentary federal, okay?

So because federal it gives the state the chance to develop themselves as low as possible because subsidiarity ‘yan. As low as possible to the people that you serve. So ‘yun, Joseph.

Mr. Morong: All right, sir. Thank you for your time po.

  1. LORENZANA: But remember, this is a different dog and a different collar, okay?

Maricel Halili (TV 5): Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, just a quick clarification. You mentioned earlier that if this kind of federalism will push through, the term of the President will only be five years. And the Prime Minister, there will be no term limit.

  1. LORENZANA: Yes, no term limits.

Ms. Halili: What’s the wisdom behind this?

  1. LORENZANA: They will be kicked out because question of no confidence. So we don’t have to go through impeachment eh.

No confidence lang, alis na ‘yang kuwan. ‘Di ba mas maganda ‘yung ganun? Prime Minister, Prime Minister siya, five years siya. Then kung walang mag-no confidence then he will continue, continue. Continue, good. Kung mga bugoy ‘yan sila, kick out.

Ms. Halili: And who will decide, sir, kung bugoy ‘yung?

  1. LORENZANA: The parliament and the ano ito… Remember, the parliament now is directly the representative now of different types of ano ito.

Ms. Halili: But isn’t it dangerous, sir, for a government official to have not term limit considering na —

  1. LORENZANA: Kung may term limits, kung may term limits, sinong tatakbo after that? Ang kanyang asawa, ang kanyang querida, ang kanyang anak, ‘di ba? This is because of term limits.

I-term limit mo ‘yan, after three years, sa atin ngayon, so after six years, sinong tatakbo? Ang kanyang asawa. Sunod ang kanyang girlfriend. Sunod ang kanyang anak.

You see these are because of what happen to term limits. That is the effect of term limits. Kung hindi na — if you don’t think things through, ‘di ba?

Did I answer you Maricel ha? Thank you very much.

Rocky Ignacio (PTV 4): Sir, allow me, may online question. Allow me to read this, sir.

  1. LORENZANA: Yes.

Ms. Ignacio: How do you reconcile President Duterte’s wish of a directly elected President, Prime Minister vis-à-vis one nominated by parliament?

  1. LORENZANA: Well, we are trying to. We are trying to argue against that. We will tell the President, “President, mali ‘yang universal election.”

That’s why we are telling them if you have a presidential universal election, you give aperture for the oligarchy to put their dirty little fingers there. Because alam mo to create a President, to vote a President, you make billions.

Not only that, you perpetuate the concept of patronage and patronage politics in the Philippines is the worst thing that can happen.

That’s why we have all of this problem because of patronage politic. It’s time that we have to do away with that. And we tell the President that.

Thank you very much also.

Thank you, Kris. Thank you.

ASEC. ABLAN: Thank you, Mr. Lorenzana for that very informative and educational discussion on proposal for federalism.

The Office of the Presidential Spokesperson would just like to explain that the purpose behind this is to present and push the envelope, push the debate as Mr. Lorenzana mentioned on changing our form of government.

And the CDP is just one of many proponents with regard to federalism and changing the Constitution. And the OPS will continue to provide in the interest of transparency different proposals on changing the Constitution.

All right. Moving on. Reporting on — in Mindanao.

Today is Day 115 or Day 115th. And the data as of 7 p.m. September 13, yesterday.

Numbers of enemies killed is 668, an increase of two casualties.

Civilians killed is still at 47.

Firearms recovered is 685, no change.

Unexploded ordnance recovered or UXO is 26.

Civilians rescued is 1,728.

Buildings cleared 10. And as of yesterday, it’s up — 16.

Total killed-in-action is 147.

As of 3 p.m. yesterday, here is the status of cash donations:

For the Marawi AFP casualty fund, we have P15,343,798.23.

While for the Marawi internally displaced persons or IDPs, we have P992,840.21.

Moving on to some government announcements:

The Department of Finance announced that a one billion parametric insurance pilot project for 25 disaster-prone provinces is already in place.

The premium payments finance through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund will be categorized by disaster-specific and province-specific areas.

500 million will be allocated to disaster-specific premiums, wherein 79.2 percent will be given to typhoon-related disasters and 20.8 percent for earthquake-related disasters.

The other 500 million will be allocated to province-specific premiums and will be split equally amongst the 25 provinces at 20 million each.

Next, we are pleased to announce that investor confidence to the President and his administration continues to be upbeat.

As foreign direct investments or FDIs grew by a 182.7 percent to US$674 — US$674 million in June 2017, up from US$238 million from the same month in 2016.

This latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas figure shows that our growth momentum is on track and we expect this would be sustained further by public infrastructure spending, consistent with the Duterte’s administration target of spending of 5.3 percent of GDP this year for infrastructure.

So those are our announcements for this morning. Rocky?

Ms. Salaverria: Good morning, sir.

ASEC. ABLAN: Hi, Leila. Good morning.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, does the Palace share the view that government, heads of government agencies that don’t share the President’s policies or oppose his war on drugs should resign?

ASEC. ABLAN: I think you’re talking about the statements made by the legislature.

As far as Malacañang is concerned, we respect the different opinions, beliefs of the different heads of agencies.

And the statements that you heard comes from the other branch, the legislative branch.

Ms. Salaverria: So are you saying that the Palace doesn’t expect the heads of constitutional bodies to just echo what the President is saying?

ASEC. ABLAN: You know, they are appointed by both the President and the previous president. And the Palace respects the opinions of the different heads of agencies, including Constitutional commissions.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, last na lang. How does the Palace take it when they express a contrary view to that of the President?

ASEC. ABLAN: You know, of course, anyone in the same position would feel a little slighted if the opinions differ.

So that’s very natural for every human being, so… But the official policy is they are appointed for a fixed term. Respect the fixed term. They have their own opinions. This is a free country. And so we respect the opinions of the different heads of agencies.

Ms. Salaverria: Thank you.

Ms. Ignacio:  Asec. Ablan, we have question from Tina Mendez. Update lang daw po about alleged violations ni Asec. Mocha?

ASEC. ABLAN: All right. As already discussed by Secretary Andanar and Spokesman Abella, the alleged violation is already submitted for investigation with PCOO’s Legal Office since  Asec. Mocha is an Assistant Secretary of PCOO.

There are procedures, admin procedures, and it’s still ongoing.

—END—

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