Former chief justice Reynato Puno on Thursday warned that the federal constitution drafted and approved by the House of Representatives would be a disaster for democracy and offered only a “bogus federalism.”
Puno, who had been tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to head a consultative committee that drafted a proposed federal charter, said the House version was haphazardly approved.
“We agreed not to endorse this House resolution and to inform the public about its defects and deficiencies. This version is a disaster to our democracy,” he told the ANC News Channel Thursday.
“They did not create a federal government. They did not create districts. It’s a bogus federalism… Congress will have a monopoly of power in creating these states,” he said.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed on third and final reading its version of a draft federal charter that removes the ban on political dynasties and lifts term limits for lawmakers and local officials.
The House draft also adds “lawless violence” as a ground for declaring martial law, apart from actual rebellion and public safety.
“The process followed by the house in proposing the change in our constitution is defective. They were treating the constitution as if it is a piece of ordinary legislation,” Puno said.
He also said the failure to mention the Bangsamoro and Cordillera regions was a “fatal omission.”
Puno also told ANC that the House cannot force the Senate to take action on their draft constitution, despite a suggestion that they might go to the Supreme Court to compel the senators to act.
Puno said, however, said such a petition was unlikely to prosper.