MANILA - The head of the consultative committee drafting a new charter on Wednesday warned that the country would be worse off if provisions against political dynasties are removed from the draft federal constitution.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno made this remark following the conclusion of a two-day closed door meeting to revise transitory provisions in the proposed federal constitution, as President Rodrigo Duterte had requested.
The draft charter prohibits family members up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity from running for the same position to replace an incumbent relative or from running for the same position with another relative in the same election.
On Tuesday, the bicameral conference committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) decided to reject the provision against political dynasties in the proposed measure.
Asked if the anti-political dynasty provisions under the proposed charter might suffer the same fate as the BBL's upon Congress review, Puno said: “Personally, to me, that is one provision that will be beyond compromise.”
“As I said, the anti-dynasty provision is a fundamental predicate of our draft constitution. We will be giving a lot of powers, near powers of sovereignty, to the different regions. And so, the implication is that, you cannot give these near-sovereign powers to political dynasties. Otherwise, our government will be in a worse situation,” he explained.
Puno did not, however, directly address the question if he will withdraw support for the proposed charter should the political dynasty ban be removed from the draft, saying instead: “Let the public decide.”
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday said the draft will have to pass through Congressional review.
The document is part of the administration's move to shift to a federal form of government, among the President's campaign promises which he believes would help spur countryside development.