CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 14 (PNA) – The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) is advocating for a “uniquely Filipino, semi-presidential executive-legislative set-up” under the proposed federal system of government, Senate President Aquilino Martin Pimentel III said Tuesday.
“We seek to benefit from the advantages of the parliamentary system while respecting the Filipinos’ preference for a strong president at the helm, at the leadership,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said that the PDP-Laban is pushing a distinct brand of federalism suited to Filipinos instead of following other countries’ existing models.
What PDP Laban wants, he said, is for the people to directly elect their president who will remain the head of state and the symbol of unity for the entire nation.
In the planned semi-presidential executive-legislative set-up, Pimentel said the National Assembly would elect a Prime Minister to be formally appointed by the President.
Under the proposed federal government, the Prime Minister heads the government and would have power over all matters concerning domestic policy that is not assigned to the President.
The President would still be the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and take charge of the foreign affairs and the national defense, among other important national concerns, Pimentel said.
Aside from that, Pimentel said PDP Laban is also proposing that the vote for the president would also be a vote for the vice-president, as is the practice in the United States, who would become the presiding officer of the Senate.
The number of senators would also increase as the regions would elect their own senator that would represent each of the country’s 11 regions.