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ConCom seeks PMA Cadets’ views on federalism

About 500 cadets and dozens of senior officials and professors of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) attended the Regional Consultation on Federalism in Fort del Pilar, Baguio city on Monday.

Consultative Committee (ConCom) member Ferdinand Bocobo led the consultation with the PMA, along with fellow ConCom members, namely Professor Eddie Alih, Dr. Virgilio Bautista, and lawyers Jose Martin Loon and Susan Ubalde-Ordinario.

Bocobo, PMA alumni, presented an overview of the Consultation which covered political, economic, and social reforms embodied in a draft Constitution that the committee intends to hand to President Rodrigo Duterte in early July before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Cadet First Class Kenny Dacuba broke the ice in the open forum by asking members of the ConCom if the national government and federated regions would be sustained when the country finally shifts to a federal form of government.

Each ConCom members explained that local government units would have more powers in a federal form of government.

They said the “economic disparity” among the regions under the present form of government would be eliminated under federalism.

The commissioners said federated regions would be given more share in the “wealth” of the nation, and more powers to manage such wealth.

Captain Noah Hernandez, a member of the Academy’s Corps of Professor, suggested that a provision on the obligations and duties of citizens should be considered in the draft Constitution.

Hernandez said these duties – loyalty to the flag, upholding the Constitution, and obeying the laws, among others, were not explicitly stated in the 1987 Constitution but must be included in the new Consitution.

The ConCom was on a two-day public consultation activity in Baguio City to get the insights of the residents of Cordillera on federalism.

Brigadier General Jose Faustino, Commandant of Cadets, and Colonel Claro Unson, Deputy Dean of Academics, and Lt. Col Reynaldo Balido, the Academy Spokesperson, led the other PMA officials who attended the consultation.

Cadet First Class John Leden Tubongbanau, Brigade Commander, led the members of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippine (CCAFP) during the consultation. #