MANILA � A member of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) on Friday appealed to Congress to retain anti-political dynasty provisions in its draft charter, saying that federalism will not be effective if families still dominate the political scene.
ConCom member and lawyer Randolph Parcasio made this call after Congress last week released its draft charter, which lacked reforms on anti-political dynasty, anti-party switching, and term limits.
Amid the clamor to return political and electoral reforms, Congress has already returned the draft to the committee for further review.
I would like to appeal to our Congressmen to take heed of this demand for political reforms. Otherwise, we will have a Constitution that shall perpetuate this unjust, feudal system, Parcasio said in a Palace briefing.
If it will still be dominated by political dynasties, I don't think that it will be effective and succeed to address issues on effective delivery of public services, justice, and other related issues, he added.
Parcasio added that it will be Congress that will make the final decision on the draft charter's content but said it should be reflective of the people's demand to dismantle political dynasties.
We are going around the country and conducting consultations. And there is overwhelming support, based on the consultations, to once and for all settle the issue on political dynasty, Parcasio said.
He, meanwhile, encouraged the public to participate in the drafting of their own Constitution, stressing that sovereignty resides in the people.
The people should take, you know, the initiative because you know Congress is their representative, but their position may not necessarily be reflective of the demand, a strong demand for the dismantling of political dynasties, Parcasio said.
We even told them to scrutinize, if possible revise or amend, the draft that we made in the ConCom, as well as all attempts to, you know, to change our Constitution. It must be a Constitution by the people, he added.
Parcasio clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier statements that anti-political dynasties would not sit well with the public did not mean that he is against it.
I think he just stated that it might not pass Congress because when we submitted the draft to him, he said he agrees with the draft, Parcasio said, adding that Duterte believes in the correctness of the proposal.
He added that there are good and bad political dynasties, which might explain why the public might still be supportive of political families.
There are good dynasties and bad dynasties. Davao City would be of course an exception to the, you know, the ills of political dynasties because we have a good dynasty in Davao, but that is an exception to the rule, Parcasio said.
Earlier, ConCom Chairman and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said Duterte himself will be the first casualty of the ban on political dynasties, should the country shift to a federal form of government.
Duterte's daughter, Sara, is the incumbent mayor of Davao City, while his son, Paolo, was former vice mayor.
The President was also Davao City mayor for more than 20 years before winning in the May 2016 presidential elections. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency