ConCom chair warns vs. near-sovereign power for dynasties

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — The head of the Consultative Committee tasked to review the 1987 Constitution warned against giving too much power to political families if the anti-dynasty provision is taken out of the proposed federal charter.

ConCom chair and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said the provision is non-negotiable.

"As I said, the anti-dynasty provision is a fundamental predicate of our draft constitution. We will be giving a lot of powers, near powers of sovereignty to the different regions," Puno said on Wednesday.

"So the implication is that you cannot give this near-sovereign powers to political dynasties, otherwise our government will be the worst situation," he added.

This comes after the bicameral conference committee removed the anti-dynasty provision in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, which Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III earlier said could be the template for the federated regions in the new charter.

Transitory Commission

Puno also revealed that ex-officio members will join the elected transition president and vice president during the shift to federalism.

They are Senate President Tito Sotto, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and former Presidents Benigno Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, and Fidel Ramos.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier asked the ConCom to revise the provision mandating him to lead the Transitory Commission, saying he wanted the public to elect a transition president.

Puno said Duterte can no longer run in 2022, and the status quo will be observed during the election of transition president and vice president.

He added sitting senators will also continue their office in a holdover capacity

For the 2019 midterm elections, the ConCom chair said it is up to the Congress on how soon it can act on the draft Constitution. If the polls push through, the law will provide for elected officials in the transition to the federal state.