Robin Padilla on political plans, peace in Mindanao

By Mitch De Leon, Dessa M. Jimenez, and Shiela G. Reyes, abs-cbnNEWS.com Halalan volunteers

Posted at Jun 01 2010 12:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2010 08:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Actor Robin Padilla proved Monday morning on ANC's Headstart that he is more than just a showbiz personality. 
 
When host Karen Davila asked Padilla if he has intentions of entering politics, the latter responded with a big ‘no,’ stressing that he is more comfortable in show business than in politics.
 
“Hindi ako negosyante Ma'am. Yung totoo, wala akong plano. Ang mga Padilla, public servant yan. Ang public servant nagbibigay sa tao. Ang pulitika kasi ngayon, nangunguha na sa tao yan. Masaya na ako sa showbiz.”
 
Political family
 
Padilla said his name in Islam is Abdul Aziz and it means “Servant of the Almighty.” He believes that as a person and as a public servant “kailangan sundin ang lahat ng alituntunin ng Panginoon”. 
 
He gamely answered questions and discussed serious matters with much ease.
 
Padilla hails from a political family. His father, Roy Padilla Sr., who served as vice-governor of Camarines Norte in the 70s and Assemblyman in the early 80s, was assassinated on the eve of the 1988 local elections, when he ran for governor of the province. 
 
His brother, Roy Padilla Jr., served as substitute candidate and eventually assumed the gubernatorial seat in 1988. The former governor tried but failed to regain the gubernatorial seat last May 10.
 
In his interview, Robin shared his views on Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Ancestral Domain, Federalism and his political plans.
 
Self government
 
Discussing problems in Mindanao, the actor, who converted to Islam while serving a jail term in the 1990s for illegal gun possession, voiced his support for the MOA-AD and defended the rights of the Mindanaoans to their ancestral domain.
 
 He questioned the opposition coming from the politicians in Luzon and the Visayas. 
 
"Isang malaking katatawanan sa akin ang MOA na yan kasi ang mga kumontra ay taga-Luzon, na hindi naman sila taga-Mindanao. Bakit ang mga nagrereact ay ang mga taga-Luzon? Andyan ang ginagalang po natin na sina Franklin Drilon, ang hinahangaan ko na si Teddy Boy Locsin, sila yung mga, si vice-president na tumakbo na si Mar Roxas. Sila yung mga kumontra dun sa MOA," Padilla said.
 
Padilla stressed that the land issues in Mindanao as well the issue on governing powers there can only be addressed properly by those within the area.
 
"Talaga pong ang problema po sa Mindanao, ang makakaresolba lang po nyan ay mga taga-Mindanao. Hanggang ang desisyon ng kapayapaan ay nanggagaling sa Luzon, hindi po mangyayari ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao."
 
On being prodded to point out a possible solution to the growing problems in Mindanao, Padilla discussed the proposal to shift to a federal system of government.  
 
"Kung ako po ang tatanungin, bakit po hindi natin pakinggan ang senador na mula sa Mindanao. Si Aquilino Pimentel. Ano bang sinabi nya? Ang kelangan ay federal. Kailangan ng Pilipinas maging federal. Ibig sabihin ang Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao ay magkaroon ng kanya kanyang gobyerno. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na...para tayong America, estado-estado. At hayaan natin na mga taga-Mindanao ang magresolba ng Muslim Mindanao issue. Ang liit lang naman po ng ano, ang laki ng Mindanao, napakaliit ng populasyon ng mga Muslim. Minsan pinalalaki ang sitwasyon, nagmumukang buong Mindanao ang magulo. Hindi po totoo yan."
 
Padilla also voiced his opinion on the political situation in ARMM. 
 
"Paglabas mo ng ARMM, napakatahimik. At ang pinagugulo nila ay ang ARMM. Bakit ba? Alam naman po natin ang sitwasyon kung bakit nila pinagugulo ang ARMM."
 
Federalism, not full autonomy
 
However, despite his support for the MOA, Padilla said he doesn't favor granting full autonomy to Mindanao. "Ako din mismo hindi ako papayag na may panibagong bansa," he said.
 
He cited instances in the Philippines history showing what being a republic has done for the country. 
 
"Balik lang tayo ng konting kasaysayan. Magmula po noong 1946, na nagsasabing tayo’y nagkaroon ng pangalawang independensya. Magkano po ba ang dolyar? Dalawang piso. Yun po ang unang binigay sa republika ng Pilipinas. Eh ngayon, magkano na ang dolyar? 45?" Padilla said. 
 
"Malinaw na malinaw na wala namang naitulong. Ano ba ang naitulong nyan sa ating lahat ng isang bansa, ng republika ng Pilipinas?" he added.
 
Rich-poor divide
 
Padilla clarified that what he is after is to try and bring back the kind of government and political system Philippines had prior to the country's colonization, which is a federal government.
 
"Noon, bago dumating ang mga dayuhan, federal tayo. May kanya-kanya tayong sinusunod na tradisyon at kultura. Bakit po kaya hindi natin ibalik dun? Kaya lang naman tayo pinagkainteresan ng mga dayuhan kasi mayaman po tayo," he said. 
 
"At lagi kong pinapaliwanag sa mga Pilipino hanggang ngayon na wag kayong malungkot kasi mayaman po tayong bansa. Nagkataon lang na dadalawampung porsyento ang nag-eenjoy nung yaman. Yung 80% ay malungkot," Padilla added. 

Padilla has been active in taking part in conflict resolutions in Mindanao. Since his conversion to Islam, he has been continuously supporting and helping the cause of our Muslim brothers and sisters. - abs-cbnNEWS.com Halalan volunteers