“FOR DARKNESS SHALL COVER THE EARTH, AND THICK DARKNESS THE PEOPLES; BUT THE LORD WILL ARISE UPON YOU, AND HIS GLORY WILL APPEAR OVER YOU.” (Isaiah 60:2 NRSV)
We, the Executive Commission of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), gathered on February 27 – March 1, 2018, to consider matters affecting the life, ministry and mission of our Church.
We are disturbed in the recent approval of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 08. This proposes the transformation of the legislative branch into a constituent assembly towards the adoption of a federal form of government; which will replace the present presidential form of government in our country.
The consultative committee created by President Rodrigo Duterte to help him chart this change of government had already approved the federal-presidential form of government.
The federal-presidential form of government follows the present setup of national government that is to be headed by a president and vice president, and with executive, legislative and judiciary departments. The additional feature is the creation of the federal states with their own federal legislature and local governments.
According to President Duterte, “federalism will facilitate better delivery of services to the people.” He plans to “privatize tax collection and abolish the Congress to make way for a unicameral legislature.” However, the federal-presidential form contradicts the words of President Duterte.
The federal form of government meant to increase decentralization, greater local power and access to resources of the country that at present are centralized by the national government. A federal state aimed to augment the demand of the Bangsamoro for an autonomous regional state.
However, this federal-presidential form of government will not cover up or alter the proposed variations of the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to some proposed sections of the amendments “stipulating majority to full Filipino ownership of agricultural lands, enterprises, public utilities, educational and advertising institutions.”
For so long a time the politics of patronage has crept our country and has continues to be a vehicle of poverty and corruption. This federal-presidential form of government will give the powerful few ruling classes to dominate within their own territories. Dynasties will be reinforced and investors will use their money and influence that will continue to promote graft and corruption.
The monopoly of big tract of lands and other resources have not been resolved. Federalism will be effective only after a genuine land reform is implemented, and rural development and industrialization should take place.
We oppose the creation of the federal form of government in this present administration. We call on the government to resume the peace talks, sign the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reform (CAPCR), and transform the present government into a genuine democratic government of the people.
Instead we urge and call the Philippine government to focus its efforts on the current situation of the suffering Filipino People who continue to live in hunger. To heed to the voices of the poor, marginalized and exploited rather than to the self-vested interest of the few and powerful.
We call on the IFI faithful to rally behind the struggling people, and work with the various people’s movement to oppose this Charter Change under the Duterte Administration which threaten the patrimony of our sovereign Nation.
Together let us be faithful to our calling as Iglesia Filipina Independiente, of being ‘faithful witness of God’s love in the world.
“Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him” (Malachi 3:18)
Pro Deo et Patria!
1 March 2018 | IFI Centennial House, Las Piñas City