Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and his expected successor, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez share a light moment during Alvarez’s visit to Belmonte’s house in Quezon City on Thursday. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and his expected successor, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez share a light moment during Alvarez’s visit to Belmonte’s house in Quezon City on Thursday. Philstar.com

Alvarez eyes con-com for federalism

MANILA, Philippines – Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez prefers to have a constitutional commission or con-com draft Charter revisions that will change the form of government to a federal system.

Alvarez, who is incoming president Rodrigo Duterte’s choice to be speaker of the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress, said yesterday he liked the move of the late president Corazon Aquino to form a con-com that wrote the 1987 Constitution.

Con-com delegates are handpicked by the president rather than elected by the people.

“We prefer a con-com that is composed of learned people, recognized experts in their fields, and then after that Congress can look at the draft,” Alvarez told reporters.

He said a constitutional convention is not only expensive and possibly divisive, but also could take a long time to finish its task.

Amending the Constitution that would include having a federal form of government to decentralize power to local government units, reform the tax system and reimpose the death penalty are among the legislative priorities of the incoming administration.

Alvarez said there is no need to approve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which seeks to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao, as federalism will substitute for it.

“Federalism is like BBL being replicated in all the other regions in the country,” he said.

He earlier doused fears the entry of foreign investments will be put on hold if and when the Duterte administration initiates the shift to a federal government.

He also had floated a possible timetable for a nationwide plebiscite on the proposed amendments in 2019, or halfway into Duterte’s term.

source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/05/23/1586094/alvarez-eyes-con-com-federalism

Read 2483 times Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2016 11:18
Rate this item
(0 votes)