By LITO RULONA,
and JOEY NACALABAN
CAGAYAN de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez yesterday expressed dismay over President Duterte’s failure to give federalism a push during his fourth State-of-the-Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, saying it was an indication that the Chief Executive has gone soft on the advocacy.
Rodriguez, who has been calling for a shift to a federal form of government, said he was disappointed because Duterte did not even give an give update on where his administration is insofar as efforts to change the form of government is.
He pointed out that federalism was a key feature in Duterte’s successful presidential campaign, and the President repeatedly spoke about it during his previous Sonas.
“Federalism was his listening tool during his campaign for the presidency. Disappointed ako, og sayang ang panahon nga siya pa ang presidente,” he said. “Ambot ngano nga mihinay siya karon sa federalism. In the past three Sonas, iya gyud kini nga gina-mention.”
Mayor Oscar Moreno said he noted, too, that there was no mention of federalism in Monday’s Sona but he surmised that Duterte saw that Charter change, which is needed for a shift to another form of government, is going to be difficult at this time.
“Dili man mahimo ang federal system of government kon dili mausab ang Constitution,” explained Moreno.
He said Charter change cannot be done overnight because of the many issues and concerns that need to be addressed first.
“Ang mga LGUs nga kogi, dili gihapon maulahi sa pag-asinso tungod kay gihagatan man sila sa gahom sa Local Government Code,” Moreno said.