The Anti-Federalist

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The Anti-Federalist

By Jose Bayani Baylon

IN May of 1983 I had the privilege of visiting the Federal Republic of Germany upon the invitation of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung as the 21-year old news editor of the Philippine Collegian, UP’s student organ. I was with Jesse John Gimenez, then chair of the UP Student Council; Marlon Cruz, president of the Inter-Frat Council also of UP, and Raymond Co from DLSU.

Of the four of us, Raymond was the apolitical one, so much so that he gave in to jet lag — the only time Raymond truly perked up was when we visited the headquarters of Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart — in a lot of the political discussions and briefings that we got from the three major political parties of West Germany at that time.

Yes, West Germany - because in 1983 the country was still divided into two and we had to fly over borders just to get from West Germany into West Berlin, and then cross into East Berlin at the (in)famous Checkpoint Charlie.

I had the privilege not only of peering over the Berlin Wall but of crossing it. It remains one of the most memorable events of my life.

As early as 1983 the Germans were keen in introducing not only democracy but also federalism to us. “Introducing”, because you must remember that in May of 1983 the Philippines was still firmly In the grip of the Marcos administration and the assassination of opposition leader Ninoy Aquino Jr. was still an unimaginable idea. This is why in briefings conducted by political officers of the Christian Democrats (our hosts), the Christian Socialists (their partners in Bavaria), the Free Democrats (the CSU’s coalition partner at the Federal level in Bonn) and the Social Democrats (the opposition), Federalism as well as Constitutionalism were key principles that were common in all.

As early as 1983 I had been asking myself - would the Philippines be a much more progressive country under a Federal structure?

The usual argument in favor of going Federal is that it will give the various regions the power and the flexibility to determine their future for themselves. They would have primary responsibility for key areas of their communities - health, education, housing, transportation, some rules on trade and commerce, etc, - while limiting national matters like national defense, currency and foreign policy to the central or national government.

Critical in achieving this would be the ability to have control over resources as well as finances - which is the usual “weapon” used by a centralized government in matters of command and control. Now these would be left in the hands of the people of the regions who would be better placed to decide how best to use them. Goodby to directives from the national capital region!

The flexibility given to the regions will then allow them to soar, not bogged down by Imperial Manila or constrained by less dynamic neighbors. Any disparity in development would be the outlook of the central government which would be empowered to intervene when necessary - but the best and most dynamic regions could run as fast and as hard with the ball as they can and benefit all those in their area.

All these sound good to the ear and in places like Germany, Malaysia and even the United States can be seen being achieved in different variations. But whether they will be good for the Philippines is a point I still need to be convinced on.

You see, Germany, Malaysia and even the United States has strong local “communities”, kingdoms or even states on which a federal system could be — and was - built. The various German Lander or the Malaysian States were in existence long before the national entity was created. They had identities of their own - and strong ones - long before they were constitutionally marshalled Into a bigger entity.

No such foundation for a federal system existed in the Philippines.

And I am concerned that going Federal will only strengthen the network of political dynasties that remain a reality in Philippine electoral politics. Imagine the “ruling families” now with greater access to resources? It’s like asking Count Dracula and his children to manage the Red Cross Blood Bank.

So there. Thirty-four years after I first was introduced to - and was intrigued by the thought of - a federal system of government for the Philippines, I remain unsure, doubtful even that changing forms or structures of government - especially in this manner - is what needs to be done.

Methinks it remains a problem of individual and collective character, a question of family and clan first over community.

And that I fear will simply be made worse if we go Federal.

Basketball

  • Thunder vs Mavericks, final score: OKC 2nd half surge tames Dallas, 112-99

    After a shaky first half, Thunder explode for 39 third quarter points.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this game without Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams in the lineup against the Dallas Mavericks. However, Paul George and Russell Westbrook carried the load offensively and led the Thunder to a 112-99 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday night.

    Anthony missed tonight's game with a sore back and Adams missed his 2nd straight with a calf injury.

  • Final Score: Cleveland Cavaliers defeat Chicago Bulls 119-112

    The Cavaliers hang on for a win against the lowly Bulls.

    There may be new faces on the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, but their ability to play down to their competition has remained the same. The Cavs put in the minimum-required effort against the Chicago Bulls and came away with a 119-112 win.

Model of the Month

Canada

Pinoy Calvelo wins 3rd in Canada Open chess
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Filipino Jelvis Arandela Calvelo settled for 3rd overall in the 2017 Canadian Open Chess Championship (Under 2200 section) at the Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

The Dasmarinas, Cavite native Calvelo tallied 7.0 points on six wins, 2 draws and a loss in 9 outings. The said event was held last July 6 to 16, 2017.

Read more ...
Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal victorious in women’s half marathon of Ottawa Race

Running Olympian sets new Philippine record for 21K race

Ottawa, Canada – Logging another record-breaking feat, MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal has clinched first place in the women’s division of the half marathon category of the Ottawa Race. The elite runner from Cebu not only bested her personal record, she also marked a significant milestone for breaking the Philippine record time for the 21K race. The Ottawa Race slot was Tabal’s grand prize for winning the 40th National MILO Marathon National Finals in Iloilo last 2016.

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Moving in 2017

VANCOUVER, CANADA -  The new year always brings new hope, opportunities, and changes. “Move” looks like the theme of 2017.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Filipinos and Canadians make their new year’s resolutions and express their hopes for the year of the fire rooster.

OPM star Joey Albert who is now based in Canada prays for more concerts in Manila and more quality time for her two daughters who are both athletes.

Read more ...

Boxing

  • Arum moving Crawford & Bradley to Showtime?

    Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is interested in moving several of his top fighters – Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Tim Bradley – to Showtime Boxing in order to get them fight dates. According to Arum, HBO doesn’t have the available budget to get fight dates for all of these guys.

  • Terence Crawford dominates Viktor Postol

    THIS is a match-up of the highest calibre. After winning a world title at lightweight against Ricky Burns, and subsequently defending in style against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Ray Beltran, Terence Crawford stepped up to super-lightweight to win the WBO title there.

MMA

  • WSOF GLOBAL MMA FIGHTER FROM GENSAN MARIO SISMUNDO, MORE THAN JUST MANNY PACQUIAO’S DOPPELGÄNGER

    SISMUNDO READY FOR THE BIGGEST FIGHT OF HIS LIFE ON JULY 30 

    AT SMART ARANETA COLISEUM

    ONE LUCKY TICKET HOLDER ON JULY 30 WILL WIN ONE MILLION PESOS

    TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT TICKETNET.COM.PH

    19 July 2016 - MANILA: Mario Sismundo, who will fight on July 30 for the World Series of Fighting Global Championship 3: Philippines vs. the World card at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, says that he is more than just Manny Pacquiao’s doppelgänger.

    Mario, who once doubled for Manny Pacquiao for a TV commercial, and also hails from General Santos City, also has plans of his own to be a world-renowned fighter.   

    The resemblance is striking, in fact, when he trains at Fitbox Gym in Makati, he is often mistaken as Manny Pacquiao.

    Sismundo says, “Sobrang na inspire ako na kamukha ko si Manny Pacquiao kasi yung kamukha ko o kahawig ko ay di ordinaryong tao, kungdi, sikat sa buong mundo dahil sa kanyang galing sa boxing, at isa pa siyang Senador ngayon.  Baka sa pagtiyatiyaga at sipag sa mga laban ko, isang araw, masundan ko rin ang yapak ng idolo ko.”

    Sismundo continues, “Malaking bagay na nakasali ako sa ganitong kalaking organization, na galing pating Amerika.  Tulad sa akin, na galing sa General Santos City na matagal nang naghintay ng pagkakataon makalaban sa malaking audience, malaking bagay po talaga.  Matagal ko po itong pinangarap at dinasal.”

    This will be Mario Sismundo’s biggest fight in his entire boxing and MMA career, fighting for the first time in a 15,000-seater stadium in Quezon City, alongside fighters from all over the world.

    Sismundo says that his family, specially his father, has been supportive of his career all this time.  

    It is bittersweet though that at the biggest fight of his life, wherein his fight will be the co-main event on July 30, that his father won’t be able to watch it since he passed away just weeks ago. 

    “Sa pinakamalaking laban ng buhay ko, na matagal niyang hinintay, wala na siya…pero hindi iyon hadlang para ako manghina o mawalan ng gana lumaban, bagkos, lalo ko pang pag-iigihan ang training ko para manalo sa laban na ito, dahil inaalay ko sa kanya ang laban na ito”, Sismundo says.

    “At alam ko kahit wala na ang aking ama, manonood siya kahit nasa ibang mundo na siya”, adds Sismundo.

    WSOF-GC will host WSOF-GC 3 Philippines at Smart Araneta Coliseum on July 30, 2016. Tickets start at PHP300 with ringside seats available for PHP4000. Tickets are now on sale at http://www.etix.com/ticket/p/2988982/wsof-global-championship-3philippines-quezon-city-smart-araneta-coliseum. Smart Araneta Coliseum has been host to many great events over the years, but is most notably known for Ali vs Frazier III ‘The Thrilla in Manila’.

  • Dana White responds to 'biggest dirtbag in all of sports,' Bob Arum: I look forward to continuing to kick his ass

    Top Rank Boxing CEO Bob Arum recently took a handful of swipes at the UFC, claiming not only that the promotion is paying off lobbyists to avoid added government regulation but also that drug use in the sport far outweighed that of boxing.

Sports Bisaya

  • Blue girls beat Czechs

    The Philippines' Blu Girls  Softball Team beat strong opponent Czech Republic to remain in the top 16.

    The team is in Surrey, BC to compete against 30 other counties.

  • SI BUTLER O RUSSELL SA TIMBERWOLVES? CONGRATS HANNAH SAJULGA

    Ni Daniel Quindao Guden 

     

    Maple Grove City, Minnesota - DUHA ka mga NBA players ang gipili-an si Jimmy Butler o si D'Angelo Russell, kini ang gitutokan karon pag-ayo ni Tom "Thibs" Thibodeau ang bag-ong head coach ug president sa Basketball Operations sa Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Sa ni-aging semana nagbansiwag sa mga Mantalaan sa Minnesota State ug Online news ang taho nga si Chicago Bulls guard/forward Butler ang gitinguha sa Timberwolves management nga mahitapo sa Land of Ten Thousand Lakes Minnesota team bugti sa no. 5 overall pick sa rookie drafting sunod semana.

Lifestyle

  • Nazal is new Rotary Prexy

    By Robbie Pangilinan

    Robert Gerard Nazal II, president of YSA Skin Care Corporation, is the new President of Rotary Club of Sta. Mesa, Quezon City. He will assume leadership following the awards night at the One Shangri-la Place, Ortigas on July 27.

  • Sangyaw was a success
    By Robbie Pangilinan
    Tacloban City’s celebration of its 127th Sangyaw Festival was a success.

    The month-long festivities capped off with the inauguration and oathtaking of Mayor-elect Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez and the members of the local city government on June 30.