Mabalaqueños welcome federalism

Scores of Mabalaqueños welcomed the idea of a shift in government system as they attended a forum on federalism held at the Royce Hotel and Casino on Monday.

The forum, hosted by the Mabalacat city government led by Mayor Boking Morales, was attended by barangay leaders.

Morales, during a press conference, said he fully supports a change in government.

The well-attended forum was graced by former Senator Aquilino Pimentel and Atty. Raul Lambino.

Lambino, a known convenor of federalism, said this style of government can fasttrack government transactions. He added that a change in government is positive.

“This is our chance to change our governemnt system with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Lambino furthered.

Pimentel, for his part, said “everyone should have a clear understanding of what federalism is.” He added that there will be 14 regions under his proposal.

The forum at Royce Hotel with Mabalaqueños is the second forum on federalism in the province, the first forum was held at Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University (DHVTSU).

During the forum in DHVTSU, Pimentel mentioned that “we will only achieve lasting peace in Mindanao if we learn to respect their (Muslim) culture and tradition.”

Regarded as “father of the local government code,” Pimental criticized the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was drafted during term of former President Aquino. He implied that the BBL “is too complicated.”

“Why are they only talking to one group?,” said Pimentel, referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He said that all sectors and groups should be properly represented in the attempt to forge and achieve peace and progress in Mindanao.

Last month, the government peace panel led by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and the MILF peace negotiators met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the two-day meeting was “very fruitful.”

Pimentel came to Pampanga to promote the federal form of government pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte. He spoke in front of students, school officials and other local government executives.