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“Federalism is the hope and future of this country” —Soli

Iligan City, Philippines

A Forum on Federalism was conducted by the Christians and Muslims for Peace (CAMP), Philippines recently with former Marawi City Mayor Omar “Solitario” Ali as resource speaker.

Atty. Bayan Balt, chapter president of CAMP, Philippines said that the organization aims to maintain peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims throughout the world. He said CAMP, Philippines has a membership of 12,000 distributed in various chapters in Cotabato, Metro Manila, Marawi and Iligan.

He said the CAMP, Philippines intends to hold a national convention sometime in the future with 1,000 to strengthen campaign for federalism with City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Former City Mayor Omar “Solitario” Ali, Representative Rufus Rodriguez and Senator Koko Pimentel as resource speakers.

For his part, resource speaker former City Mayor Omar “Solitario” Ali disclosed that the 26 richest states in the world are federal countries. He said in centralized governments, like the Philippines, the rich who are few become richer and the poor who are many, become poorer. He said this is so because the country’s income is controlled by its leaders.

Former Mayor Ali said that federalism is appropriate for archipelagic, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual societies, like the Philippines which has over 7,000 islands and various ethnic groups, as it is not good for homogenous societies.

Former Mayor Ali said from 1972 to 1980, some 140,000 people in our country have died because of fighting. He said in recent years, another 20,000 also died because of fighting. He said nations that are fighting have no hope. He said co-existence guarantees progress. He said modern analysis indicate that “you are good if your neighbors have hope.” He said people should be given hope and through peaceful co-existence this can be achieved.

He said Duterte who is running for president advocates federalism as a form of government. He said we have to fight for peace by having good relations between the Christians and the Muslims.

He said if we fail, we may fight for another 20 years. He said with modern warfare, you could just imagine the staggering damaged that fighting could create. He said we should prevent the bad guys from creating trouble. He said we have to fight for our right. He said we have to fight for federalism to avail of its benefits. He said federal states make laws, rules and regulations that are peculiar, natural and appropriate for the varied inhabitants. He said the state laws are considered national laws. He said people who are interested in progress should fight for federalism because it is the future and the hope of our country.

Former City Mayor Ali is a graduate in development management from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and a holder of a law degree.

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