PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order creating a 25-member committee that will study the 1987 Constitution for possible amendments, an official said Thursday.
“As to the provision of the Constitution to be amended, the President issued the other day an executive order creating the committee for the consultative study of the Constitution,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said during a Senate hearing led by the committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes.
“Basically, it’s a consultative committee to review the 1987 Constitution to be composed of 25 selected individuals whose names will be later on submitted to the President.”
The committee will be tasked to review the Constitution within six months from its creation will be asked to review Duterte’s proposal to transform the present form of government from a unitary one to a federal form.
Medialdea said Duterte’s preferred mode of Charter Change was through a Constitutional Assembly.
“He believes that both houses [of Congress] should vote separately, but we would require further legal study to determine the intent of the framework of the Constitution,” Medialdea said.
In many of his speeches, Duterte had expressed his readiness to step down from power if a federal and parliamentary form of government was adopted via constitutional amendments in his fourth or fifth year in office.
He said there must be a president who should head the parliamentary and federal government, noting he was willing to call for a presidential election the following day or week if Congress passed the amendments.
“I can commit today to the Republic of the Philippines that if you will hurry up the federal system of government and you can submit it to the Filipino people by the fourth or fifth year, you call for a referendum, and after that call for a presidential election,” Duterte said.
“Then I will go.”