8.6 C
New York
Monday, March 27, 2023

‘Federalism should be one of con-con agendas’

A LAW dean who served as a member of a Constitutional Commission to amend the 1987 charter under former president Rodrigo Duterte said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should consider including federalism as part of the agenda of a hybrid constitutional convention (con-con) being proposed in Congress.

San Beda University Graduate School of Law dean and The Manila Times columnist Fr. Ranhilio Aquino said in a recorded interview with the Times that he is “definitely” in favor of the federal form of government.

“I think that President Marcos should make this one of the items of the agenda, especially because he ran under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas,” he said. “So that was the platform on which he ran and it would be, being true to his word, and keeping the platform that he ran on, if he were to push the matter of federalism and ask the Convention to propose it.”

Aquino explained that the federalism push during the Duterte administration did not succeed because of the fear of a “diminution of powers” by local government officials.

“The constitution that we drafted under the Duterte administration had very specific anti-dynasty provisions,” The Times columnist explained. “We put a cap on [political] dynasties and when you have a Congress majority of whose members are products of dynasties, then you don’t expect such a constitution to pass.”

“In a federal system, each federated region becomes an income-generating unit,” he added. “When you empower each federated region to become an income-generating unit, then it would be good for the country.”

Aquino said he does not favor term extensions of elected officials as part of the con-con agenda.

“Term extensions for anybody should not be entertained in this coming exercise, and there should be no derogation of existing rights and guarantees,” Aquino said. “If anything, there should be a broadening and extension of these rights.”

“Technically, a constitutional convention drafts the constitution, drafts the amendments, and these are sent to the people for a plebiscite,” Fr. Aquino said. “However, if they [Congress] are thinking of a con-con of being recommendatory to them, and then they will be the ones to pass the amendments or revisions, I think that’s a huge waste of our money, because it can very well happen that the fate of whatever draft the con-con has will be the same fate on the draft that we wrote suffered.”

He believes the con-con has to look into the entire Constitution and not just the economic provisions.

House Bill 7352 was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. It seeks to have a convention to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Go to Source
Author: Aric John Sy Cua

Related Articles

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles