Duterte’s advantage

By: Ricky Poca November 29,2015 - 03:42 AM

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s entry in the presidential derby has made it more exciting. The Davao mayor tops a  Pulse Asia survey held in Metro Manila with a rating of 34% followed by Sen. Grace Poe with 26% then  Vice President Binay with 22%.  Administration candidate Mar Roxas is in the bottom with 11% together with Sen. Miriam Santiago with 9%.

Pulse Asia clarified that the margin of error of the latest survy is 6% because of fewer respondents so  the first three candidates in the survey are statistically tied.  In other words,  Duterte, Poe and Binay are tied in the survey.    Some political analysts say that Duterte topped the survey because  the people are looking for an alternative candidate, a need which Duterte and Poe appears to fit.

The advantage of a Duterte  candidacy  is his  clear advocacy for federalism that is very attractive for people in the Visayas, Mindanao and also in Luzon. For the longest time, we have been complaining about having a president who hails from Metro Manila or Luzon where  development and budget spending has always been concentrated, depriving other parts of the country of their fair allocation. This has  become more pronounced in the administration of President Aquino with Cebu complaining and affected the most. So now is an  opportunity to have a president whose roots are in Danao City,  Cebu who became  mayor of Davao City.

If Duterte captures the imagination of  the people of the Visayas and Mindanao, that would be a clear edge over other rivals.

I like the advocacy of Duterte because I am an avid supporter and believer of federalism. I believe it is the best system of government for our country especially that it is an archipelago, plus the fact that we have with us the presidential unitary system of government for nearly a century and it has  done anything good for our country and thus is a failure.

Federalism distributes the powers of the national government to the local government. The 1987 Constitution grants this power now to  local  governments. Under a federalist system, there are substantial powers of governance that are exercised by the local government and  residual powers shall be exercised by the national/federal government.

It  would be interesting to know how Duterte plans to implement federalism under his presidency. It is not going to be easy because some national institutions are against federalism for fear of losing  powers that they have enjoyed before.  But it can be done with political will.

Duterte still has to explain his track record in  human rights and account for summary killings in Davao City which many people would love to see him do,  but I warn them to be  careful about trying to  tag him as a supporter of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

* * *
Former Rep.  Tomas Osmeña has stepped up his attacks on Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, insinuating that the mayor is a drug addict.  This kind of  attack is a clear sign of desperation on his part, a cheap gimmick.

In the first place, he has no proof that the accusation is even a bit true. His statements and  conclusion are very sweeping.   It would lead us to  conclude that most local officials are drug addicts just because, according to Osmeña, they have failed to curb the drug menace in their places.

Mayor Rama and I  live  in the Rama Compound. He is   not and has never been a drug dependent. Rama may have lost weight because he has diabetes like many of us in the Rama family.

Two months ago, the mayor was subjected to a random drug test  by COSAP headed by Dr. Utlang.  The result was negative.

The accusation does not stick  because  people can see and observe the demeanor of the mayor who is always in the public eye.

Osmeña will have to  do more if he wants to destroy the mayor especially now that the court cases he has filed or those filed by his party and supporters,  have not been decided in their favor.
(DISCLOSURE: Columnist Ricky R. Poca is a first cousin of Mayor Michael Rama. — Editor in Chief)

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TAGS: 2016 Elections, Aquino, Binay, Duterte's Advantage, Metro Manila, Opinion, Pulse Asia, Rodrigo Duterte, Roxas, Senator Grace Poe

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