MAASIN CITY- The voice of the people that will be expressed through a plebiscite is the final decision on whether they like, or do not like, the Philippines to shift to the federal system of government.
And the referendum-plebiscite can be done simultaneously with the mid-term elections scheduled in May next year to save on costs.
This was stated categorically by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel in a huddle with local media last week at the DILG provincial office, on the sidelines of his visit as administering officer for the swearing-in of newly elected barangay officials.
Asked if the majority of the senators were enthusiastic on the federalism idea, the senator was candid enough to admit that only three others shared his passion, namely, Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Manny Pacquiao.
“But this may change, given that the constitutional committee tasked to draft the federal constitution has finished its task,” Pimentel quickly added.
Pimentel also said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not keen on holding the plebiscite together with next year’s polls, without giving details.
In any case, the proposed change will have to be submitted to the people in a plebiscite, whether it is joined with the elections or held at a separate date, Pimentel emphasized.