Pimentel expects President Duterte to push federalism in his first SONA

MANILA — Presumptive Senate President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III is expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to push the shift of the form of government to federalism in his first state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday.

”I’m hoping to hear some priority legislative suggestions from president and the shift to federalism,” Pimentel said in a Senate media interview.

Pimentel, whose bid for Senate presidency has the support of at least 15 senators, said he is also hoping for the president to prioritize the income tax reform.

”Perhaps it’s (SONA) like a reportorial unless he has an idea of a new law or policy that needs congressional cooperation. Basta federalism ang aking hinihintay,” Pimentel said.

As expected, Pimentel said Pres. Duterte will also mention his ongoing all-out war against crimes, illegal drugs and corruption.

In the Senate, outgoing Senate President Franklin Drilon filed last July 3 a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to review the 1987 Constitution.

Drilon said that Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 calls for a convention, whose members shall be elected by January next year, to propose amendments to, or revision of, the 29-year-old Constitution.

Drilon said there is an emerging consensus in the Senate to review and amend the Constitution either through Con-con or Constitutional Assembly (Con-Ass).

In a previous media interview, Drilon said he is expecting the shift of the system of government from presidential to federal by 2020 while Pimentel eyes a new form of government in 2018. Jelly Musico/ PNA/ northboundasia.com