MANILA, Philippines – The Consultative Committee tasked to review the 1987 Philippine Constitution swiftly approved a draft of the new charter which allows for a shift to a federal form of government.
In just four and a half months since the Commission convened in February 19 this year, no one refuted the final draft of the new constitution. It contains 22 articles and a transitory provision but an official copy of the proposed constitution is yet to be released.
Some of the new contents include the preamble which describes permanent and insoluble nation which will be called the ‘Federal Republic of the Philippines.’
It also clearly depicts the sovereign right to territory and own waters. It also includes recommended reforms like the anti-political dynasty, party-switching, inclusion of sufficient food, health, education, decent housing and employment in the bill of rights
But critics quickly pounced on the proposal.
One of them is former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who warned in his twitter account that the approved new charter is dangerous as it will pave the way to the repetition of Marcos dictatorship.
However, a ConCom member assured they have placed safeguards to prevent abuse.
“We have set in place remedies for any such thing that might arise. Hindi papayag ang Kongreso, hindi papayag ang mga regional assemblies and ang mga tao (Congress, regional assemblies and the people will not allow) for a warlord to thrive ,” said former Associate Justice Antonio Nachuras.
The approved final draft will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, who will, in turn, transmit it to the Congress.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the Chief Executive will encourage his party mates to closely study the proposal.
The administration is also confident that majority of the legislators will vote in favor of the proposal.
“I think the president, as chairman of PDP-Laban, the dominant party at the House, will transmit it to his party mates…We can only persuade the party mates of the president but we recognize that the decision ultimately will lie in the individual members of the house of representatives and the Senate,” said Roque. – Mai Bermudez
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