Senator Win Gatchalian criticized groups calling for a revolutionary government in the midst of a deep and prolonged crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group, composed of President Duterte’s supporters, is calling for a revolutionary government which will push for a shift to a federal form of government.
Gatchalian pointed out that even the country’s economic managers, during several Senate hearings on federalism, have voiced out their stand against the shift to federalism which in the long run could hurt the country’s economy, as this will create instability in our fiscal position and will prompt a massive fiscal deficit in our budgeting system.
“Kung ibaba natin ito sa local governments, maba-bankrupt ang national government, sino ang magbabayad ng mga utang? Lalaki yung ating deficit. Ngayon ang tanong — saan tayo kukuha ng panggastos para labanan ang COVID-19? Even the economic managers were very wary and they were strongly opposing the shift to federalism,” Gatchalian said.
The senator raised the possibility that a change in the form of government at this point could further push the country on the brink of collapse.
“Kapag nag-move tayo to federalism at this point in time, mas lalaki pa ang problema natin, from health crisis lilipat tayo into economic crisis, or even a political crisis,” he emphasized.
Gatchalian instead called for unity and cooperation among all Filipinos, stressing that a revolutionary form of government will divide the nation and will demolish the separate branches of the government that enjoin the maintenance of a system of checks and balances. He cited the recently-ratified Bayanihan 2 which has gone through massive deliberations at both houses of Congress so that the government could properly allot funds to where they are needed most in this time of pandemic.
“Kailangan natin ng check and balance para makita natin kung tama ang ginagawa ng gobyerno. Sa isang revolutionary government, magkakaroon tayo ng malalim na hidwaan o pagkawatak-watak sa ating lipunan na hindi natin kailangan ngayon. Ang kailangan natin ngayon ay magsama-sama para labanan ang COVID-19,” said the lawmaker.
According to Gatchalian, trampling on the constitution in an effort to change the system of government is the least of the tenets of a democratic system. Everything has to go through the process, he said. For instance, the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments openly discusses possible amendments or revisions in the Constitution which encourages participation of all sectors of the society.
Gatchalian, meanwhile, has this unsolicited advice to the President.
“Mga supporters naman itong grupo ng ating pangulo. Ang isang magandang approach ay kausapin na lang sila ng Pangulo at hikayatin na mahahati nito ang ating bansa at hindi natin ito kailangan sa panahon ng pandemya,” he concluded.