A RETIRED chief justice and a former elections commissioner who drafted the 1987 Constitution formed a coalition with lawyers and activists to campaign against Charter change and to warn against the administration’s push to shift to a federal system of government.
Leading Tuesday’s launch of the “No to Cha-Cha” Coalition in UP Diliman were former chief justice Hilario Davide and former elections commissioner Christian Monsod, both of whom had helped draft the 1987 Constitution during the term of President Corazon Aquino.
Other members of the coalition are former senator Rene Saguisag, former Supreme Court associate justice Vicente Mendoza, Bishop Deogracias Ynigues and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares.
Davide reiterated a warning that he offered last month before the Senate, that Charter change would only keep political dynasties in power and lead to feudalism, not federalism.
He also urged senators and congressmen not to allow themselves to “become a party to the mangling” of the Constitution, which he once described as “the best in the world.”
President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, rejected a suggestion that he lead a transition government if the push to shift to a federal system succeeds.
Duterte said he was “in a hurry” to step down from the presidency and would even once his administration manages to establish a federal government ahead of his term’s expiration in 2022.
“If there can be a federal setup in 2020, I’m going to step down. I don’t want any transition position. I don’t have plans of perpetuating myself in power,” Duterte said.
Also on Tuesday, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara urged the Palace to include an expert on fiscal policy in the consultative committee that is reviewing the Constitution.
Such an expert could address the question of resource sharing and tax jurisdictions, he said, and prevent any constitutional complications when the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed.
Duterte has created a 19-member consultative committee chaired by former chief justice Reynato Puno, whose task is to review the Constitution and come up with recommended changes, which the President will submit to Congress for consideration.