Updates

FORMER Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. assailed attempts to shift to a federal form of government in a speech on Tuesday, Nov. 21, to the Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines and Employers Confederation of the Philippines.

Mr. Davide said the reason given by supporters of federalism — that the current highly centralized government enriches Manila at the expense of the countryside — is “deceptively misleading and unfounded.”

“All such goals and objectives can adequately and sufficiently be accomplished by merely, but effectively and efficiently implementing the relevant provisions of our present 1987 Constitution for strong local autonomy and decentralization,” Mr. Davide said in his speech, as quoted by the MBC in a statement on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Mr. Davide enumerated 18 ill effects of a shift to federalism. He said these could be irreversible.

“A shift to federalism is a lethal experiment. A fatal leap. A plunge to death. A leap to hell,” the retired chief justice said. “To paraphrase the book of Sirach concerning sin, federalism is “a two-edged sword: when it cuts, there can be no healing.”